The Sorry State of Appointed Representation in Florida Death Penalty Cases

In Lugo v. Sec’y, Dept. of Corr., the Eleventh Circuit had a lot to say about the attorneys Florida appoints  for postconviction review in capital cases.  According to its analysis, fully 8% of capital defendants in Florida filed Section 2254 petitions (federal habeas corpus) after the statute of limitations expired!  

In Lugo’s case, his appointed attorney also extorted money from him before eventually filing his state postconviction motion 12 days after the 1-year federal limitations expired.  (The state motion was timely because there is a two-year limitations period for state PCR motions).  Thus, the state motion did not stop the federal statute of limitations from running (that is, “toll” the statute of limitations) because the time had already expired.  

© Gray Proctor 2016