FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF
Appeal from the Circuit Court in and for Santa Rosa County,
Ross M. Goodman, Judge - Case No. 571998CF000510XXAXMX
H. Nolas, Chief, Capital Habeas Unit, Office of the Federal
Public Defender, Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee,
Florida, for Appellant
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Lisa A. Hopkins, Assistant
Attorney General, Tallahassee, Florida, for Appellee
Mearle Grim, a prisoner under sentence of death, appeals the
circuit court's order summarily denying his first
successive motion for postconviction relief, which was filed
under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.851. We have
jurisdiction. See art. V, § 3(b)(1), Fla.
2000, a jury convicted Grim of first-degree murder and sexual
battery upon a person twelve years of age or older with use
of a deadly weapon. After hearing evidence at the penalty
phase, the jury unanimously recommended the death sentence by
a vote of twelve to zero. We affirmed Grim's convictions
and sentence of death on direct appeal. Grim v.
State, 841 So.2d 455 (Fla. 2003). We also upheld the
denial of his initial motion for postconviction relief and
denied his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Grim v.
State, 971 So.2d 85 (Fla. 2007).
2016, Grim filed his current first successive postconviction
motion in which he sought relief based on Hurst v.
Florida (Hurst v. Florida), 136 S.Ct. 616
(2016). Grim subsequently filed a memorandum of law in which
he further argued that he was entitled to relief based on
this Court's decision in Hurst v. State
(Hurst), 202 So.3d 40 (Fla. 2016), cert.
denied, 137 S.Ct. 2161 (2017). In May 2017, the circuit
court entered an order summarily denying Grim's
successive postconviction motion. This appeal followed. While
Grim's postconviction case was pending in this Court, we
directed the parties to file briefs addressing why the
circuit court's order should not be affirmed based on
this Court's precedent in Hurst, Davis v.
State, 207 So.3d 142 (Fla. 2016), cert. denied,
137 S.Ct. 2218 (2017), and Mosley v. State, 209
So.3d 1248 (Fla. 2016).
Davis, this Court held that a jury's unanimous
recommendation of death is "precisely what we determined
in Hurst to be constitutionally necessary to impose
a sentence of death" because a "jury unanimously
f[inds] all of the necessary facts for the imposition of [a]
death sentence by virtue of its unanimous
recommendation." Davis, 207 So.3d at 175.
This Court has consistently relied on Davis to deny
Hurst relief to defendants that have received a
unanimous jury recommendation of death. See, e.g.,
Bevel v. State, 221 So.3d 1168, 1178 (Fla. 2017);
Guardado v. Jones, 226 So.3d 213, 215 (Fla. 2017),
petition for cert. filed, No. 17-7171 (U.S. Dec. 18,
2017); Cozzie v. State, 225 So.3d 717, 733 (Fla.
2017), petition for cert. filed, No. 17-7545 (U.S.
Jan. 24, 2018); Morris v. State, 219So. 3d 33, 46
(Fla.), cert. denied, 138 S.Ct. 452 (2017);
Tundidor v. State, 221 So.3d 587, 607-08 (Fla.
2017), cert. denied, 138 S.Ct. 829 (2018);
Oliver v. State, 214 So.3d 606, 617-18 (Fla.),
cert. denied, 138 S.Ct. 3 (2017); Middleton v.
State, 220So. 3d 1152, 1184-85 (Fla. 2017), cert.
denied, 138 S.Ct. 829 (2018); Truehill v.
State, 211 So.3d 930, 956-57 (Fla.), cert.
denied, 138 S.Ct. 3 (2017). Grim is among those
defendants who received a unanimous jury recommendation of
death, and his arguments do not compel departing from our
because we find that any Hurst error in this case
was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt, we affirm the circuit
court's order summarily denying Grim's first
successive motion for postconviction relief.
LABARGA, CJ, and LEWIS and LAWSON, JJ, concur
and POLSTON, ...