FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF
Application for Review of the Decision of the District Court
of Appeal - Certified Great Public Importance First District
- Case Nos. 1D16-733 (Leon County)
Michael Ufferman of Michael Ufferman Law Firm, P.A.,
Tallahassee, Florida; and Crystal McBee Frusciante of
Frusciante Law Firm, P.A., Sunrise, Florida, for Petitioner .
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Charmaine M. Millsaps, Senior
Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, Florida, for
Rudenstine, Gainesville, Florida, and Whitney Untiedt of
Akerman, LLP, Miami, Florida; and Roseanne Eckert of FIU
College of Law, Miami, Florida, Amici Curiae Florida
Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Florida
Juvenile Resentencing and Review Project .
review of the First District Court of Appeal's decision
in Andrews v. State, 218 So.3d 466 (Fla.
1st DCA 2017), we consider whether indigent defendants
represented by pro bono counsel should be treated the same as
defendants represented by private counsel or public
defenders, both of whom do not have to reveal details about
their hiring of experts to the prosecution. Specifically, the
First District certified the following question:
WHETHER AN INDIGENT DEFENDANT WHO IS REPRESENTED BY PRIVATE
COUNSEL PRO BONO IS ENTITLED TO FILE MOTIONS
PERTAINING TO THE APPOINTMENT AND COSTS OF EXPERTS,
MITIGATION SPECIALISTS, AND INVESTIGATORS EX PARTE
AND UNDER SEAL, WITH SERVICE TO THE JUSTICE ADMINISTRATIVE
COMMISSION AND NOTICE TO THE STATE ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, AND
TO HAVE ANY HEARING ON SUCH MOTIONS EX PARTE, WITH
ONLY THE DEFENDANT AND THE COMMISSION PRESENT.
218 So.3d at 470. We answer the certified question in the
affirmative and, therefore, quash the First District's
decision and remand Andrews' case for resentencing.
Kynshere Andrews was convicted of first-degree murder,
burglary, and robbery and was sentenced to life without the
possibility of parole for the first-degree murder conviction.
Andrews was 17 years old at the time she committed the
offenses. Subsequently, the United States Supreme Court held
in Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460, 479 (2012),
"that the Eighth Amendment forbids a sentencing scheme
that mandates life in prison without possibility of parole
for juvenile offenders." After Miller, this
Court remanded Andrews' case for resentencing.
Andrews v. State, 177 So.3d 1262 (Fla. 2015).
to the resentencing hearing, Andrews' pro bono counsel
filed a motion for an ex parte hearing regarding the
appointment of experts for the Miller juvenile
resentencing hearing. Defense counsel argued that he was
requesting public funds for experts and that he sought an ex
parte determination because he did not "think the State
should be involved in the process of the defense having
experts." The trial court denied the motion for an ex
parte hearing without explanation.
counsel filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the First
District, asserting that the hearing regarding experts should
be ex parte because the discussion of experts might reveal
the defense's trial strategy to the State. The First
District denied ...