Appeal from the Circuit Court in and for Duval County, Bruce
Rutledge Anderson, Jr., Judge - Case No.
Original Proceeding - Habeas Corpus.
Friedman, Capital Collateral Regional Counsel, and Karin
Moore and Elizabeth Spiaggi, Assistant Capital Collateral
Regional Counsel, Northern Region, Tallahassee, Florida; and
Terri Backhus, Chief, Capital Habeas Unit, Office of the
Federal Public Defender, Northern District of Florida,
Tallahassee, Florida, for Appellant/Petitioner.
Moody, Attorney General, and Charmaine M. Millsaps, Senior
Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, Florida, for
Ray Bowles, a prisoner under sentence of death and an active
death warrant, appeals the postconviction court's order
summarily denying his successive motion for postconviction
relief filed under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.851.
We affirm the denial of relief, and we also deny the petition
for a writ of habeas corpus and the motions to stay his
execution that Bowles filed in this Court.
confessed and pleaded guilty to the 1994 murder of Walter
Hinton, who had allowed Bowles to move into his home in
exchange for Bowles' help in moving personal items.
Bowles v. State, 716 So.2d 769, 770 (Fla. 1998).
Specifically, Bowles dropped a concrete block on Hinton's
head while Hinton was sleeping, then manually strangled a
conscious Hinton, and subsequently "stuffed toilet paper
into Hinton's throat and placed a rag into his
mouth." Id. On direct appeal, this Court
affirmed the first-degree murder conviction but remanded for
a new penalty phase. Id. On direct appeal of the
resentencing (where the jury unanimously recommended death),
this Court upheld Bowles' death sentence. Bowles v.
State, 804 So.2d 1173, 1175 (Fla. 2002). The
resentencing trial court based the prior violent felony
aggravator on "two prior similar murders for which the
defendant was convicted after the first sentencing
hearing" as well as two other prior violent felony
convictions. Id. at 1176.
2008, this Court upheld the denial of postconviction relief
and denied habeas relief. Bowles v. State, 979 So.2d
182, 184, 194 (Fla. 2008). In so doing, this Court ruled that
trial counsel was not ineffective for failing to call an
expert to testify regarding mitigation, where the expert had
informed counsel that she would have to discuss the
"three additional murders that Bowles had committed,
which the State was not going to introduce unless the defense
opened the door to them." Id. at 187-88. And in
2018, this Court affirmed the denial of Bowles'
successive postconviction motion, which he had filed in June
2017, ruling that Hurst does not apply retroactively
to Bowles' death sentence. See Bowles v. State,
235 So.3d 292, 292 (Fla. 2018).
October 19, 2017, Bowles filed another successive
postconviction motion, raising an intellectual disability
claim for the first time. Bowles filed the final version of
this motion after the governor signed his death warrant on
June 11, 2019. Bowles' final motion (entitled
"Amended Rule 3.851 Motion for Postconviction Relief in
Light of Moore v. Texas,  Hall v. Florida,
Atkins v. Virginia") and its appendix noted an
IQ test score of 74 as well as prior IQ test scores of 80 and
83. After holding a case management conference, the
postconviction court summarily denied Bowles'
intellectual disability claim as untimely.
Court, Bowles challenges the summary denial of his
intellectual disability claim and the denial of certain
records requests filed after the governor signed his death
warrant. Bowles also filed a habeas petition in this Court,
alleging that national death penalty trends demonstrate that
his execution would constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
We affirm the postconviction court's denial of relief and
deny his habeas petition.
first challenges the postconviction court's summary
denial of his intellectual disability claim, but ...