QUAWN M. FRANKLIN, Appellant,
STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee.
FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF
Appeal from the Circuit Court in and for Lake County, Mark J.
Hill, Judge - Case No. 352002CF000217AXXXXX
Vincent Viggiano, Jr., Capital Collateral Regional Counsel,
Maria Christine Perinetti, Raheela Ahmed, Reuben Andrew Neff,
and Lisa Marie Bort, Assistant Capital Collateral Regional
Counsel, Middle Region, Temple Terrace, Florida, for
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, Florida, and Stephen
D. Ake, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, Florida,
M. Franklin appeals an order of the circuit court summarily
denying a motion to vacate his sentence of death under
Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.851. We have
jurisdiction. See art. V, § 3(b)(1), Fla.
Const. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the
postconviction court's summary denial of Franklin's
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
was convicted of attempted robbery and first-degree murder in
the shooting death of Jerry Lawley. Franklin v. State
(Franklin I), 965 So.2d 79, 84-86 (Fla. 2007). After the
penalty phase, the jury unanimously recommended death.
Id. at 87. At Franklin's request, the jury
returned a special interrogatory verdict form indicating that
it unanimously found each of the four proposed aggravators.
Id. at 102. The trial court followed the jury's
recommendation and imposed a death sentence. In doing so, the
trial court found the same four aggravating factors and
concluded that the aggravators outweighed the mitigating
factors. Id. at 88. This Court affirmed
Franklin's conviction and death sentence on direct
appeal. Id. at 102.
November 7, 2008, Franklin filed his first rule 3.851 motion
in the circuit court and moved for a competency
determination. Franklin v. State (Franklin
II), 137 So.3d 969, 977 (Fla. 2014). On June 3, 2010,
the trial court found Franklin competent to proceed.
Id. Franklin then amended his postconviction motion,
raising eleven claims. Id. The postconviction court
summarily denied claims three through eight, as well as claim
ten. Id. at 977-78. Following an evidentiary
hearing, the postconviction court denied claims one, two,
nine, and eleven. Id. at 978. Franklin sought relief
in this Court, raising three claims, and filed a petition for
writ of habeas corpus that raised two claims. This Court
affirmed the postconviction court's order. Id.
filed a successive postconviction motion on January 9, 2017,
raising two claims: (1) his death sentence is
unconstitutional under Hurst v. Florida, 136 S.Ct.
616 (2016), and (2) his death sentence stands in violation of
the Eighth Amendment under Hurst v. Florida. The
postconviction court denied the motion, finding that
"the Hurst error was harmless beyond a
reasonable doubt as the jury returned an interrogatory
verdict unanimously agreeing that each of the four
aggravating factors were present and unanimously recommending
that death was the appropriate sentence given the substantial
aggravation and slight mitigation presented." Franklin
appealed the postconviction court's order on April 28,
2017. On June 20, 2017, this Court issued an order directing
the parties to file briefs addressing why the ruling should
not be affirmed in light of this Court's precedent in
argues that his death sentence violates the Sixth Amendment
under Hurst v. Florida, 136 S.Ct. 616 (2016). In
Hurst v. State, 202 So.3d 40, 57 (Fla. 2016), we
explained that Hurst v. Florida requires "the
jury in a capital case [to] unanimously and expressly find
all the aggravating factors that were proven beyond a
reasonable doubt, unanimously find that the aggravating
factors are sufficient to impose death, unanimously find that
the aggravating factors outweigh the mitigating
circumstances, and unanimously recommend a sentence of
death." We also determined that Hurst error is
capable of harmless error review. Id. at 67.
Therefore, the issue in this case is whether any
Hurst error during Franklin's penalty phase
proceedings was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.
Id. at 68.
penalty phase jury found the existence of each aggravator
unanimously and made a unanimous recommendation of death
using an interrogatory verdict form. Such a recommendation
"allow[s] us to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that
a rational jury would have unanimously found that there were
sufficient aggravators to outweigh the mitigating
factors." Davis v. State, 207 So.3d
142, 174 (Fla. 2016). Although the jury was not properly
instructed under Hurst, and despite the mitigation
presented, the jury still unanimously recommended that
Franklin be sentenced to death for the murder of Lawley.
Therefore, any Hurst error in Franklin's penalty
phase was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt and the
postconviction court properly denied relief on this claim.
also contends that a unanimous jury recommendation violates
the Eighth Amendment pursuant to Caldwell v.
Mississippi, 472 U.S. 320 (1985), when a jury is
repeatedly told that its role is advisory. Franklin further
claims that his death sentence violates the Eighth Amendment
under Hurst because the standard jury instructions
improperly diminished the jury's role. Franklin's
Caldwell claim is procedurally barred because he did
not raise it on direct appeal. See Jones v. State,
928 So.2d 1178, 1182 n.5 (Fla. 2006). To the extent that
Franklin's claim about the standard jury instructions is
a Hurst claim, he ...