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Orme v. State

Supreme Court of Florida

March 30, 2017

RODERICK MICHAEL ORME, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee. RODERICK MICHAEL ORME, Petitioner,
v.
JULIE L. JONES, etc., Respondent.

         NO MOTION FOR REHEARING WILL BE ALLOWED.

         An Appeal from the Circuit Court in and for Bay County, Brantley Scott Clark, Jr., Judge - Case No. 031992CF000442XXAXMX And an Original Proceeding - Habeas Corpus

          Linda McDermott of McClain & McDermott, P.A., Estero, Florida, for Appellant/Petitioner.

          Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Jennifer L. Keegan, Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, Florida, for Appellee/Respondent.

          REVISED OPINION

          PER CURIAM.

         Roderick Michael Orme appeals an order of the circuit court denying his motion to vacate his sentence of death, filed under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.851, and he petitions this Court for a writ of habeas corpus. We have jurisdiction. See art. V, § 3(b)(1), (9), Fla. Const. For the reasons that follow, we grant Orme a new penalty phase based on the United States Supreme Court's decision in Hurst v. Florida, 136 S.Ct. 616 (2016), as interpreted by our decision in Hurst v. State, 202 So.3d 40 (Fla. 2016), petition for cert. filed, No. 16-998 (U.S. Feb. 13, 2017).[1]

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         A full description of the facts of the instant case can be found in our opinion from Orme's direct appeal. Orme v. State (Orme I), 677 So.2d 258, 260-61 (Fla. 1996). The facts relevant here are as follows. In March 1992, Orme was charged with premeditated or felony murder, robbery, and sexual battery in connection with the death of Lisa Redd, whose body was found in Orme's motel room. Id. at 260. A jury convicted Orme on all three counts and recommended the death penalty by a vote of seven to five. Id. at 261. The trial judge followed the recommendation and sentenced Orme to death, finding three aggravating factors-committed during the course of a sexual battery; heinous, atrocious, or cruel (HAC); and committed for pecuniary gain. Id. In mitigation, the judge found both statutory mental health mitigators (substantial impairment and extreme emotional disturbance), giving them "some weight." Id. We have previously described the procedural history of this case as follows:

On direct appeal, Orme raised eight issues. [n.1] This Court affirmed Orme's conviction of first-degree murder and the sentence of death. [Orme I, 677 So.2d at 261-64.] Orme filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court. That Court denied review on January 13, 1997. Orme v. Florida, 519 U.S. 1079 (1997).
[N.1] The following issues were raised: (1) the trial court should have directed a judgment of acquittal on grounds the case against him was circumstantial and the State had failed to disprove all reasonable hypotheses of innocence; (2) Orme's statements to officers should have been suppressed on grounds he was too intoxicated with drugs to knowingly and voluntarily waive his right to silence; (3) death is not a proportionate penalty because Orme's will was overborne by drug abuse, and because any fight between the victim and him was a "lover's quarrel"; (4) Orme's mental state at the time of the murder was such that he could not form a "design" to inflict a high degree of suffering on the victim; (5) the trial court erred by failing to weigh in mitigation the fact that Orme had no significant prior criminal history; (6) the trial court erred in declining to give a special instruction that acts perpetrated on the victim after her death are not relevant to [the HAC aggravato]r; (7) the instruction on [HAC] violated the dictates of Espinosa v. Florida, 505 U.S. 1079 (1992); and (8) Orme was incapable of forming the specific intent necessary for first-degree murder and this fact bars his death sentence under Enmund v. Florida, 458 U.S. 782 (1982).
Subsequently, Orme filed an amended motion for postconviction relief pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.851, raising twenty-five claims. After an evidentiary hearing on four claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel, the trial court denied relief. Orme appealed the denial of postconviction relief to this Court, raising three claims. [n.2] He also petitioned the Court for a writ of habeas corpus, raising eight claims. [n.3] See [Orme v. State (Orme II), 896 So.2d 725, 737 (Fla. 2005)]. This Court found defense counsel ineffective for failing to further investigate Orme's diagnosis of bipolar disorder with respect to the penalty phase. As a result, a new penalty phase was ordered. Id. [at 740-41].
[N.2] Orme argued that (1) the trial court erred in denying his ineffective assistance of counsel claim for trial counsel's failure to present evidence of Orme's diagnosis of bipolar disorder; (2) his death sentence is unconstitutional pursuant to Ring v. Arizona, 536 U.S. 584 (2002), and its progeny; and (3) the general jury qualifications procedure in Bay County, where he was tried, was unconstitutional. [Orme II], 896 So.2d 725 (Fla. 2005).
[N.3] Three of the claims Orme raised were: (1) appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to raise on appeal the fact that Orme was involuntarily absent from two bench conferences, which he claims were critical stages of his trial; (2) appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to raise on appeal the claim that the prosecutor engaged in misconduct rendering the conviction and sentence fundamentally unfair; and (3) appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to raise on appeal the claim that the trial court erroneously allowed forty-three gruesome photographs to be shown to the jury. Orme raised five additional claims, all of which were found not to be properly raised in a habeas proceeding because they were either raised on direct appeal or in postconviction or should have been raised and were therefore procedurally barred. [Orme II, 896 So.2d at 740].
In May 2007, a new penalty phase was conducted before a new jury, but before the original trial judge. By a vote of eleven to one, the new jury recommended a death sentence. The trial court followed the jury's recommendation and sentenced Orme to death. The trial court found the following three statutory aggravating factors: (1) the capital felony was committed for pecuniary gain; (2) the capital felony was committed while the defendant was engaged in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit a sexual battery; and (3) the capital felony was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel. The trial court also found three statutory mitigators: (1) the defendant had no significant criminal history (little weight); (2) the capital felony was committed while the defendant was under the influence of extreme mental or emotional disturbance (little weight); and (3) the capacity of the defendant to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law was substantially impaired (little weight). The trial court also found that the following mitigation was either irrelevant to the murder or did not exist and, as a result, gave them no ...

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