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Justices reject 10 more death row appeals

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Bringing the total number of similar rulings to 70 since early last week, the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected appeals from 10 Death Row inmates.

Like the earlier 60 cases, Wednesday’s rulings involved Death Row inmates who were sentenced before a 2002 cutoff date.

The inmates’ appeals stemmed from a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a case known as Hurst v. Florida and a subsequent Florida Supreme Court decision.

The 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling found Florida's death-penalty sentencing system was unconstitutional because it gave too much authority to judges, instead of juries.

The subsequent Florida Supreme Court ruling said juries must unanimously agree on critical findings before judges can impose death sentences and must unanimously recommend the death penalty.

But the Florida Supreme Court made the new sentencing requirements apply to cases since June 2002.

That is when the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling known as Ring v. Arizona that was a premise for striking down Florida's death-penalty sentencing system in 2016.

In each of the 70 cases, the Death Row inmates had been sentenced to death before the Ring decision and argued that the new unanimity requirements should also apply to their cases.

The Florida Supreme Court has issued seven batches of rulings rejecting the appeals.

The inmates who lost their appeals Wednesday were Robert A. Consalvo in a Broward County case; Robert R. Gordon in a Pinellas County case; Anton J. Krawczuk in a Lee County case; David Miller Jr. in a Duval County case; Joshua D. Nelson in a Lee County case; Manuel Antonio Rodriguez in a Miami-Dade County case; Henry Perry Sireci in an Orange County case; Jack R. Sliney in a Charlotte County case; Steven Edward Stein in a Duval County case; and Gary Richard Whitton in a Walton County case.