FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF
Appeal from the Circuit Court in and for Pinellas County, W.
Douglas Baird, Senior Judge - Case No. 521983CF000630XXXXNO
And an Original Proceeding - Habeas Corpus
Dupree, Capital Collateral Regional Counsel, and Bryan E.
Martinez, Staff Attorney, Southern Region, Fort Lauderdale,
Florida; and Martin J. McClain of McClain & McDermott,
P.A., Wilton Manors, Florida, for Appellant/Petitioner
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, Florida, and Timothy
A. Freeland, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Tampa,
Florida, for Appellee/Respondent
case is before the Court on appeal by Jason Walton from an
order denying a motion to vacate sentences of death under
Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.851. Walton also
petitions this Court for writ of habeas corpus. We have
jurisdiction. See art. V, § 3(b)(1), (9), Fla.
Const. For the reasons explained below, we affirm the
postconviction court's denial of relief and deny
Walton's petition for writ of habeas corpus.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
was convicted and sentenced to death for the execution-style
murders of three individuals that occurred during the
commission of a robbery and burglary. Walton v.
Dugger (Walton IV), 634 So.2d 1059, 1060 (Fla.
On direct appeal, this Court affirmed the convictions but
vacated the death sentences because the trial court failed to
afford Walton an opportunity to confront two codefendants
whose confessions and statements were presented during the
penalty phase. See [Walton v. State
(Walton I), 481 So.2d 1197');">481 So.2d 1197, ] 1198-1201 [(Fla.
1985)]. The trial court conducted a second penalty phase and
the jury again recommended death on all three convictions.
See Walton v. State [(Walton II)], 547
So.2d 622, 623 (Fla. 1989). The trial court again imposed the
death penalty on all three convictions, and this Court
affirmed those sentences on appeal. See id. at 626.
The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari review.
See Walton v. Florida [(Walton III)], 493
U.S. 1036 (1990).
Walton filed his initial postconviction motion pursuant to
Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850, in which he alleged
that trial counsel was ineffective. See Walton
[IV], 634 So.2d [at] 1060-61 . . . . After an
evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied the motion.
See id. Walton appealed that denial to this Court
and petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus. See id.
This Court initially relinquished jurisdiction to the trial
court for resolution of a public records request by Walton.
See id. at 1062. On remand, Walton amended his
previously filed rule 3.850 motion to add claims based upon
information discovered in the public records and newly
adduced evidence. See Walton v. State [(Walton
V)], 847 So.2d 438, 442-43 (Fla. 2003). One such claim
was that trial counsel was ineffective for failure to
adequately investigate and prepare for trial. See
id. at 442 n.2. The trial court again denied all of
Walton's claims. See id. at 443. Walton appealed
that denial to this Court and again petitioned this Court for
a writ of habeas corpus. See id. This Court affirmed
the denial of Walton's postconviction motion and denied
habeas relief. See id. at 460. [This Court] also
denied a subsequent petition for a writ of habeas corpus
filed by Walton pursuant to Ring v. Arizona, 536
U.S. 584 (2002). See Walton v. Crosby, 859 So.2d 516
Walton thereafter filed a successive postconviction motion
pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.851. See
Walton v. State [(Walton VI)], 3 So.3d 1000,
1002 (Fla. 2009). The trial court summarily denied relief.
See id. at 1002. Walton appealed that denial to this
Court, and this Court affirmed the order of the
postconviction court. See id.
Walton v. State (Walton VII), 77 So.3d 639,
640-41 (Fla. 2011). In 2010, Walton filed a second successive
motion for postconviction relief pursuant to rule 3.851.
Id. at 641. The postconviction court denied
Walton's motion. See id. at 642. This Court
affirmed the order of the postconviction court. Id.
7, 2015, Walton filed a third successive postconviction
motion asserting that he should either be resentenced to life
or receive a new penalty phase due to the fact that his
codefendant, Richard Cooper, was resentenced to life based on
a cumulative review of the evidence. On December 28, 2015,
the postconviction court denied Walton's motion. On March
7, 2016, Walton filed a notice of appeal to this Court. On
September 16, 2016, this Court relinquished jurisdiction to
allow for rehearing. On October 4, 2016, the postconviction
court granted rehearing.
20, 2016, Walton filed a fourth successive postconviction
motion, asserting that changes in Florida's
capital sentencing law are part of the cumulative review of
newly discovered evidence. On January 13, 2017, the
postconviction court denied Walton's motion. This appeal
on June 8, 2017, Walton filed a petition for habeas relief.
This Court stayed the proceedings on September 15, 2017, and
then, on September 27, 2017, issued an order for Walton to
show cause why Hitchcock v. State, 226 So.3d 216
(Fla.), cert. denied, 138 S.Ct. 513 (2017), does not
affirm the postconviction court's denial of relief for