Opinions Relating to Orders - 2018

Bowles v. Florida

This case implicates important questions related to this Court’s decision in Hall v. Florida, 572 U. S. 701 (2014). Hall invalidated a Florida law categorically prohibiting intellectually disabled death-row prisoners with IQs above 70 from raising successful claims under Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U. S. 304 (2002). Later, the Florida Supreme Court held that Hall was retroactive. Walls v. State, 213 So. 3d 340, 346 (2016). With one hand, the Florida Supreme Court recognized that such intellectually disabled prisoners sentenced before Hall have a right to challenge their executions on collateral review. With the other hand, however, the Florida Supreme Court has turned away prisoners seeking to vindicate this retroactive constitutional rule for the first time, by requiring them to have brought their Hall claims in 2004—a full decade before Hall itself was decided. See, e.g., 2019 WL 3789971, *2 (Aug. 13, 2019) (case below); Harvey v. State, 260 So. 3d 906, 907 (2018); Blanco v. State, 249 So. 3d 536, 537 (2018); Rodriguez v. State, 250 So. 3d 616 (2016). This Kafkaesque procedural rule is at odds with another Florida rule requiring counsel raising an intellectual-disability claim to have a “good faith”