2010 Florida Statutes
Commencement of capital postconviction actions for which sentence of death is imposed on or after January 14, 2000; limitations on actions.
Commencement of capital postconviction actions for which sentence of death is imposed on or after January 14, 2000; limitations on actions.—
In every capital case in which the trial court imposes a sentence of death on or after the effective date of this act, this section shall govern all postconviction proceedings in state court.
Within 15 days after imposing a sentence of death, the sentencing court shall appoint the appropriate office of the capital collateral regional counsel or private postconviction counsel, unless the defendant declines to accept postconviction legal representation in which case the state shall not provide postconviction legal representation. Within 30 days after the appointment, the capital collateral regional counsel shall file a notice of appearance in the trial court or a motion to withdraw based on a conflict of interest or for good cause. The court shall appoint private counsel pursuant to part IV of chapter 27 in any case in which the capital collateral regional counsel files a motion to withdraw, or otherwise informs the court that the capital collateral regional counsel cannot comply with the provisions of chapter 924 or in which the court determines that the agency cannot comply with chapter 924 or other applicable laws.
The defendant who accepts the appointment of postconviction counsel must cooperate with and assist postconviction counsel. If the sentencing court finds the defendant is obstructing the postconviction process, the defendant shall not be entitled to any further postconviction legal representation provided by the state. Each attorney participating in a capital case on behalf of a defendant must provide all information pertaining to the capital case which the attorney obtained during the representation of that defendant to that defendant’s capital postconviction counsel. Postconviction counsel must maintain the confidentiality of any confidential information received from any attorney for that defendant and is subject to the same penalties as the providing attorney for violating confidentiality. If the defendant requests without good cause that any attorney appointed under this subsection be removed or replaced, the court shall notify the defendant that no further state resources may be expended for postconviction representation for that defendant, unless the defendant withdraws the request to remove or replace postconviction counsel. If the defendant does not immediately withdraw his or her request, then any appointed attorney must be removed from the case and no further state resources may be expended for the defendant’s postconviction representation. The prosecuting attorney and the defendant’s trial counsel shall provide the defendant or, if represented, the defendant’s capital postconviction counsel with copies of all pretrial and trial discovery and all contents of the prosecuting attorney’s file, except for information that the prosecuting attorney has a legal right under state or federal law to withhold from disclosure.
The clerk of the court shall provide a copy of the record on appeal to the capital postconviction attorney and the state attorney and Attorney General within 60 days after the sentencing court appoints postconviction counsel. However, the court may grant an extension of up to 30 days when extraordinary circumstances exist.
With respect to all capital postconviction actions commenced after the effective date of this act, a capital postconviction action is not commenced until the defendant or the defendant’s postconviction counsel files a fully pled postconviction action in the sentencing court or, as provided in subsection (4), the Florida Supreme Court. For the purposes of this subsection, a fully pled capital postconviction action is one which complies with s. 924.058(2) or any superseding rule adopted by the Florida Supreme Court. Except as provided by subsection (4) or subsection (5), all capital postconviction actions shall be barred unless they are commenced within 180 days after the filing of the appellant’s initial brief in the Florida Supreme Court on direct appeal of the defendant’s capital conviction and sentence. The fully pled postconviction action must raise all cognizable claims that the defendant’s judgment or sentence was entered in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States or the Constitution or the laws of the state, including any claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel, allegations of innocence, or that the state withheld evidence favorable to the defendant. No claim may be considered in such action which could have or should have been raised before trial, at trial, or if preserved on direct appeal. For the purposes of this subsection, a capital postconviction action is not fully pled unless it satisfies the requirements of s. 924.058(2) or any superseding rule of court.
No claim of ineffective assistance of collateral postconviction counsel may be raised in a state court.
The pendency of public records requests or litigation, or the pendency of other litigation, or the failure of the defendant or the defendant’s postconviction counsel to timely prosecute a case shall not constitute cause for the court to grant any request for an extension of time or other delay. No appeal may be taken from a court’s ruling denying such a request for an extension of time or other delay.
The time for commencement of the postconviction action may not be tolled for any reason or cause. All claims raised by amendment of a defendant’s capital postconviction action are barred if the claims are raised outside the time limitations provided by statute for the filing of capital postconviction actions.
All capital postconviction actions raising any claim of ineffective assistance of direct appeal counsel are barred unless they are commenced in conformity with this subsection. The defendant or the defendant’s capital postconviction counsel shall file an action in the Florida Supreme Court raising any claim of ineffective assistance of direct appeal counsel within 45 days after mandate issues affirming the death sentence in the direct appeal.
Regardless of when a sentence is imposed, all successive capital postconviction actions are barred unless commenced by filing a fully pled postconviction action within 90 days after the facts giving rise to the cause of action were discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence. Such claim shall be barred pursuant to subsection (3) or s. 924.057 unless the facts underlying the claim, if proven and viewed in light of the evidence as a whole, would be sufficient to establish by clear and convincing evidence that, but for constitutional error, no reasonable fact finder would have found the defendant guilty of the underlying offense. Additionally, the facts underlying this claim must have been unknown to the defendant or his or her attorney and must be such that they could not have been ascertained by the exercise of due diligence prior to filing the earlier postconviction motion. The time period allowed for filing a successive collateral postconviction action shall not be grounds for a stay.
s. 6, ch. 2000-3.