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MARBEL MENDOZA vs. STATE OF FLORIDA
Case Number: SC17-1324
Judge: PER CURIAM
Court: Supreme Court of Florida
Plaintiff's Attorney: Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, Florida, and Melissa J. Roca, Assistant Attorney General
Defendant's Attorney: Neal Dupree, Capital Collateral Regional Counsel, Bryan E. Martinez, Staff Attorney, and Rachel L. Day, Assistant Capital Collateral Regional Counsel
Description: We have for review Marbel Mendoza’s appeal of the circuit court’s order
denying Mendoza’s motion filed pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure
3.851. This Court has jurisdiction. See art. V, § 3(b)(1), Fla. Const.
Mendoza’s motion sought relief pursuant to the United States Supreme
Court’s decision in Hurst v. Florida, 136 S. Ct. 616 (2016), and our decision on
remand in Hurst v. State (Hurst), 202 So. 3d 40 (Fla. 2016), cert. denied, 137 S. Ct.
2161 (2017). This Court stayed Mendoza’s appeal pending the disposition of
Hitchcock v. State, 226 So. 3d 216 (Fla. 2017), cert. denied, 138 S. Ct. 513 (2017).
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After this Court decided Hitchcock, Mendoza responded to this Court’s order to
show cause arguing why Hitchcock should not be dispositive in this case.
After reviewing Mendoza’s response to the order to show cause, as well as
the State’s arguments in reply, we conclude that Mendoza is not entitled to relief.
Mendoza was sentenced to death following a jury’s recommendation for death by a
vote of seven to five. Mendoza v. State, 700 So. 2d 670, 673 (Fla. 1997).
Mendoza’s sentence of death became final in 1998. Mendoza v. Florida, 525 U.S.
839 (1998). Thus, Hurst does not apply retroactively to Mendoza’s sentence of
death. See Hitchcock, 226 So. 3d at 217. Accordingly, we affirm the denial of
Outcome: The Court having carefully considered all arguments raised by Mendoza, we
caution that any rehearing motion containing reargument will be stricken. It is so ordered.