FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION, AND IF
Proceeding - Habeas Corpus
H. Nolas, Chief, Capital Habeas Unit, Office of the Federal
Public Defender, Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee,
Florida, for Petitioner
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Berdene Beckles, Assistant
Attorney General, Tallahassee, Florida, for Respondent
case is before the Court on the petition of Jesse Guardado
for a writ of habeas corpus. We have jurisdiction.
See art. V, § 3(b)(9), Fla. Const.
underlying facts of this case were described in this
Court's opinion on direct appeal. Guardado v.
State, 965 So.2d 108, 110-12 (Fla. 2007). Guardado
pleaded guilty to murder in the first degree and robbery with
a weapon. After hearing evidence at the penalty phase, the
jury returned a unanimous recommendation that Guardado be
sentenced to death. The trial court found five aggravating
factors and nineteen nonstatutory mitigating circumstances. We
affirmed Guardado's convictions and sentence of death. We
also affirmed the denial of Guardado's initial
postconviction motion. Guardado v. State, 176 So.3d
886 (Fla. 2015).
present habeas petition, Guardado argues that he is entitled
to relief pursuant to Hurst v. Florida, 136 S.Ct.
616 (2016), and Hurst v. State, 202 So.3d 40 (Fla.
2016), petition for cert. filed, No. 16-998 (U.S.
Feb. 13, 2017). We agree with Guardado that Hurst is
applicable in his case. See Mosely v. State, 209
So.3d 1248 (Fla. 2016). However, because we find that the
Hurst error in this case is harmless beyond a
reasonable doubt, we deny Guardado's petition. As we
stated in Davis v. State, 207 So.3d 142, 175 (Fla.
[T]he jury unanimously found all of the necessary facts for
the imposition of death sentences by virtue of its unanimous
recommendations. . . . The unanimous recommendations here are
precisely what we determined in Hurst to be
constitutionally necessary to impose a sentence of death.
the Hurst violation in this case is harmless beyond
a reasonable doubt and, as in Davis, does not
entitle Guardado to relief.
LABARGA, C. J, and PARIENTE, and LEWIS, JJ, concur CANADY,
POLSTON, and LAWSON, JJ, concur in result. QUINCE, J.,
dissents with an opinion.
QUINCE, J., dissenting.
cannot agree with the majority's finding that the
Hurst error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.
As I've stated previously, "[b]ecause Hurst
'requires a jury, not a judge, to find each fact
necessary to impose a sentence of death, ' the error
cannot be harmless where such a factual determination was not
made." Hallv. State, 42 Fla.L.Weekly
S153, S165 (Fla. Feb. 9, 2017) (Quince, J., concurring in
part and dissenting in part) (quoting Hurst v.
Florida, 136 S.Ct. 616, 619 (2016)); see ...