Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A. - Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer

The death sentence: A severe penalty for the most heinous crimes

Any time you're accused of a violent crime, you could face a misdemeanor or felony. Depending on the act, a felony can mean severe punishments.

Florida still allows the death penalty. It's typically reserved only for those who participate in the most heinous of crimes, but anyone facing a felony trial that has the death penalty listed as a potential punishment could be at risk of being sentenced to death.

What can you do if you're facing the death penalty in Florida?

If you are facing the death penalty, you must defend yourself to the best of your ability. This is the most severe punishment that can be delivered by the government, and it's not something that should be taken lightly by anyone involved in the case.

One thing that is in your favor is that a jury must reach a unanimous decision to sentence you to the death penalty. As such, it's highly unlikely for anyone to receive it unless the jury is certain that he or she committed the crime. The jury must unanimously determine to request the death sentence before the judge is able to sentence it, so it's not possible for the judge to determine that sentence without the jury's consideration.

Maybe most interesting about the death penalty is that Florida has had the most exonerations of any state. That means that the state will drop or reverse penalties that people do not deserve given the appropriate evidence. With the help of your attorney, you can collect what you need to make sure there is enough doubt about your actions to take this penalty off the table.

Source: Death Penalty Information Center, "Florida," accessed June 30, 2017

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