Wednesday, August 19, 2009

United States Supreme Court, Florida Supreme Court and Eleventh Circuit Deny Relief Sought By John Richard Marek - Execution Scheduled for 6 pm

[The original post was made at 11:10am. The post was edited as indicated below]

This morning, a unanimous Florida Supreme Court entered an order denying John Marek's request for relief. The order can be found here. The court stated:

We affirm the denial. We agree that the affidavit attached to Marek's fifth successive motion, when considered cumulatively with the newly discovered evidence presented in support of his third successive postconviction motion, does not meet the standard for relief set out in Jones v. State, 709 So. 2d 512, 521 (Fla. 1998)...The evidence would not probably result in an acquittal or a life sentence on retrial. Because Marek's claim is legally insufficient, the circuit court did not err in summarily denying the motion.

See here for an article on the Palm Beach Post's blog. Previous posts on Mr. Marek's case can be found here and here.

Additionally, the state filed its response brief in the United States Supreme Court in one of the two appeals pending in that Court. The docket for that case can be found here. I will update this post when the United States Supreme Court enters an order OR if the Eleventh Circuit enters an order in the case pending in that court.

UPDATE (4:15pm)

The Eleventh Circuit denied the request for relief and another petition has been filed in the United States Supreme Court and the petition for stay of execution has been submitted to Justice Thomas. The docket can be found here.

UPDATE (6:45pm)

At 6:36 pm the Houston Chronicle first filed the AP story which is titled "Fla. man executed for '83 murder of abducted woman" and can be found here. The Ledger ran its own story titled "Man Convicted of Murder, Rape, Torture Is Executed" which can be found here.

At somepoint after 6:30 pm, the United States Supreme Court posted three orders entered today which can be found here, here an here. Each order states: "The application for stay of execution of sentence of death presented to Justice Thomas and by him referred to the Court is denied. The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied." According to an article in the Gainesville Sun found here: "The execution took place after a short, 20-minute delay, during which time Florida State Prison officials were waiting for the go-ahead either from the governor's office or the U.S. Supreme Court."

This article from the St. Petersburg Times which can be found here states: "Jesus, remember us sinners," Marek said in his final statement about 6:20 p.m. Then he said the Lord's Prayer as the execution process began."

UPDATE (11:30pm)

Brendan Farrington of the Associated Press has an interesting article posted on the Miami Herald web site here. Mr. Farrington was with the Governor during the exexeution and writes that Florida Governor Charlie "Crist allowed The Associated Press to observe him during the last 48 minutes of Marek's life." The article continues:
At 5:45, 15 minutes before the execution was set to begin, Crist sat at his desk...Crist's top lawyer, Rob Wheeler, arrived and told Crist that McCollum's office was sending faxes confirming Marek's three final appeals had been denied...After Crist reviewed them, Wheeler contacted Florida State Prison, where one visiting warden carried out the sentence and another gave Crist every detail. "The governor has received the denials and has asked you to proceed," Wheeler said...At 6:19, the medical team signed the final paperwork that the lethal injections could begin. Crist asked if McCollum was reporting any last minute stays. Atkinson told him no. "Is there anything from the Supreme Court?" Crist asked. Again, the answer was no. "You may carry out the sentence," Crist said.


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