final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Alachua County. Mark W.
Thomas, Public Defender, and Glen P. Gifford, Assistant
Public Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Kaitlin Weiss, Assistant
Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
Lamar Copeland appeals the life sentence imposed for
first-degree murder after the Florida Supreme Court reversed
and remanded his case for resentencing under Horsley v.
State, 160 So.3d 393 (Fla. 2015). The State also
cross-appeals, arguing that the sentence unlawfully provided
for judicial review after 25 years. We reverse and remand for
resentencing because the sentence is unlawful.
Copeland was seventeen years old when he killed Jearicka
Mack, a fifteen-year-old bystander at the scene of a parking
lot fight outside a club. See Copeland v. State, 129
So.3d 508, 509 (Fla. 1st DCA 2014). Following a guilty
verdict on a first degree murder charge, the trial court
sentenced Mr. Copeland to life in prison without the
possibility of parole. Id. at 510. This court
affirmed. Id. at 511. However, in the wake of a new
juvenile sentencing law being enacted, the Florida Supreme
Court quashed our decision and remanded for
"resentencing in conformance with the framework
established in chapter 2014-220, Laws of Florida, which has
been codified in sections 775.082, 921.1401, and 921.1402 of
the Florida Statutes." Copeland v. State, 177
So.3d 1264 (Fla. 2015).
re-sentencing hearing, the State and Mr. Copeland presented
evidence to the trial court and arguments on the factors set
forth in § 921.1401(2). After weighing the factors, the
court determined that Mr. Copeland's crime and situation
were consistent with the uncommon circumstance where life
imprisonment constitutes an appropriate sentence. It
sentenced him to life in prison. Over the State's
objection, the trial court additionally imposed judicial
review of Mr. Copeland's sentence after 25 years.
See § 921.1402(2)(a), Fla. Stat.
sentencing, Mr. Copeland filed two motions to correct
sentencing errors. The first motion argued that a jury
verdict was needed on the sentencing factors in order to
authorize his sentence under § 921.1401. The trial court
denied this motion. The second motion involved the
sentence's provision for a judicial review hearing after
25 years. Mr. Copeland argued that the trial court made a
scrivener's error by stating that Mr. Copeland was
"entitled to" a review hearing, instead of saying
that he was "eligible for" a review hearing. At a
subsequent hearing, the State argued that Mr. Copeland was
neither "entitled to, " nor "eligible
for" a 25-year review hearing, and that it had already
cross-appealed the issue. The trial court denied the motion.
now stands, Mr. Copeland appeals the life sentence and the
State cross-appeals the trial court's decision to grant a
25-year review hearing to Mr. Copeland.
Copeland argues that that his rights to a jury trial were
violated at resentencing because the trial court considered
the § 921.1401(2) sentencing factors, instead of a jury.
Although the terms of this law provide that "the
court shall consider factors relevant to the offense and
the defendant's youth and attendant circumstances, "
Mr. Copeland argues that the Sixth Amendment to the United
States Constitution, as interpreted in Apprendi v. New
Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000) and Hurst v. State,
202 So.3d 40 (Fla. 2016), and article I, section 22 of the
Florida Constitution, require a jury to consider these
sentencing factors before a life-sentence is imposed. We
disagree with his argument for the reasons set forth in
Beckman v. State, 230 So.3d 77, 94-97 (Fla. 3d DCA
2017). See also Horsley, 160 So.3d at 409 ("We
conclude that applying chapter 2014-220, Laws of Florida to
offenders like Horsley is the only way to comply with the
commandment of the United States Supreme Court and to
effectuate the intent of our Legislature."); Miller
v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460, 489 ...