Trial Court Refused to Admit Evidence About Defendant's Domination by Another Individual
In Gore v. Dugger, 532 So.2d 1048 (Fla. 1988), the court determined in our review of the trial court's denial of the defendant's motion for postconviction relief that harmless error occurred during the penalty phase when the trial court refused to admit, as nonstatutory mitigating evidence, testimony concerning the defendant's domination by another individual.
Though we determined that the evidence of dominance was attenuated and had minimal relevance to the murder committed by the defendant, we nevertheless concluded that error occurred because "the sentencer . . . [must] not be precluded from considering, as a mitigating factor, any aspect of a defendant's character . . . that the defendant proffers as a basis for a sentence less than death." Id. at 1050 (quoting Lockett v. Ohio, 438 U.S. 586, 604, 98 S.Ct. 2954, 57 L.Ed.2d 973 (1978)).
However, the court also determined that the error in not admitting the defendant's proffered nonstatutory mitigation was harmless because "the omission of this evidence would not have affected the outcome of [the] case" in light of "five aggravating circumstances and no mitigating circumstances." Gore, 532 So.2d at 1051.