Appeal from the Circuit Court in and for Hillsborough County,
Michelle Sisco, Judge - Case No. 292004CF012631000AHC
Samuels Parmer of Samuels Parmer Law Firm, P.A., Tampa,
Florida, for Appellant
Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, Florida, and Christina
Z. Pacheco, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, Florida, for
Grover Brant, a prisoner under sentence of death, appeals the
circuit courts order summarily denying his 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. Const.
conduct arising from the 2004 killing of Sara Radfar,
"Brant pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, sexual
battery, kidnapping, grand theft of a motor vehicle, and
burglary with assault or battery." Brant v.
State, 21 So.3d 1276, 1277 (Fla. 2009). "After a
failed attempt to seat a penalty-phase jury ... Brant waived
his right to a jury, and the penalty phase proceeded before
the trial judge." Brant v. State, 197 So.3d
1051, 1057 (Fla. 2016). The trial judge "sentenced Brant
to death for the murder, concurrent terms of life
imprisonment for the sexual battery, kidnapping, and
burglary, and five years imprisonment for the grand
theft." Id. at 1062.
affirmed Brants convictions and sentences on direct appeal
in 2009. Brant, 21 So.3d at 1289. In 2014, Brant
appealed the denial of his initial motion for postconviction
relief and filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
Brant, 197 So.3d at 1056. While his case was pending
in this Court, the United States Supreme Court issued its
decision in Hurst v. Florida, __ U.S. __, 136 S.Ct.
616, 193 L.Ed.2d 504 (2016). Accordingly, we permitted Brant
"to file supplemental briefing to address the impact of
Hurst on his sentence." Brant, 197
So.3d at 1079. In 2016, we rejected Brants Hurst v.
Florida claim, affirmed the denial of his initial
postconviction motion, and denied his habeas petition.
Brant, 197 So.3d at 1079.
2017, Brant filed a successive postconviction motion, arguing
that his death sentence was unconstitutional under Hurst
v. Florida and Hurst v. State, 202 So.3d 40
(Fla. 2016), cert. denied, __ U.S. __, 137 S.Ct.
2161, 198 L.Ed.2d 246 (2017). The circuit court summarily
denied the motion. Brant appealed, and we directed the
parties to show cause why the circuit courts order should
not be affirmed based on Mullens v. State, 197 So.3d
16 (Fla. 2016), cert. denied, __ U.S. __, 137 S.Ct.
672, 196 L.Ed.2d 557 (2017).
conclude that the circuit court properly denied relief.
Brants claim is procedurally barred to the extent it was
raised in his earlier postconviction appeal, see
Brant, 197 So.3d at 1079, and additionally fails on
the merits. In Mullens, we held that a defendants
waiver of his right to a penalty phase jury was not rendered
invalid by the subsequent changes in the law wrought by
Hurst v. Florida and Hurst v. State .
Mullens, 197 So.3d at 38-40. Since issuing
Mullens, we have consistently reaffirmed the
principle that a defendant who waives his or her right to a
jury is not entitled to relief under the Hurst
decisions. See, e.g., Lynch v. State, 254
So.3d 312, 322 (Fla. 2018), cert. denied, __ U.S.
__, 139 S.Ct. 1266, 203 L.Ed.2d 283 (2019); Hutchinson v.
State, 243 So.3d 880, 883 (Fla.), cert. denied,
__ U.S. __, 139 S.Ct. 261, 202 L.Ed.2d 175 (2018);
Rodgers v. State, 242 So.3d 276, 276-77 (Fla.),
cert. denied, __ U.S. __, 139 S.Ct. 592, 202 L.Ed.2d
427 (2018); Allred v. State, 230 So.3d 412, 413
(Fla. 2017); Dessaure v. State, 230 So.3d 411, 412
(Fla. 2017). Brant is among those defendants who validly
waived the right to a penalty phase jury, see
Brant, 197 So.3d at 1076, and his arguments do not
compel departing from our precedent.
Accordingly, we affirm the circuit courts order summarily
denying Brants ...