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Zack Warrant: Briefing begins at Florida Supreme Court
This morning, Michael Zack filed his Initial Brief in his appeal from the trial court's denial of his claims seeking relief from his execution scheduled Oct. 3. He also seeks a stay of execution.
Michael Zack’s execution is scheduled for October 3 at 6:00 p.m. (The full background of Zack’s case is available here.) On August 31, the Escambia County trial court denied Zack’s postconviction motion seeking relief from his scheduled execution. (More on the trial court’s ruling here.)
Late on September 1, Zack (through counsel) filed a Notice of Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court, appealing the trial court’s rulings.
Zack’s Initial Brief
This morning, Zack, through his attorneys, filed his Initial Brief. The Brief presents two issues on appeal:
These issues track the claims that were presented in the lower court.
Per the Supreme Court’s Scheduling Order entered on Aug. 17, the State’s Answer Brief is due Wednesday (Sept. 13) by 3:00 p.m.
Motion for Stay of Execution
Zack also filed a Motion for Stay of Execution.
In the Motion, Zack argues that his appeal “presents important constitutional claims, including an issue of first impression regarding whether Mr. Zack’s Fetal Alcohol Syndrome . . . entitles him to the Eighth Amendment protections laid out in Atkins v. Virginia . . . .” The Motion concludes:
The State filed a Response just hours after Zack’s attorneys filed the Motion.
The State argues that the Court should deny the stay because he has not presented a substantial ground for relief and also based on a fairly recent amendment to the Florida Constitution called “Marsy’s Law,” which the State argues guarantees victims “a constitutional right to prompt finality and right to freedom from unreasonable delay.”
All of the documents can be downloaded from the docket here.
Prior TFDP Coverage of the Zack Warrant
The full background of Zack’s case is available here.
The Florida Supreme Court’s Scheduling Order is available here.
Beginning of trial court litigation here
The trial court’s Scheduling Order is discussed here.
The litigation related to public records is covered here.
Continuance due to Hurricane Idalia
The State’s responses to Zack’s motions in the trial court
A closer look at Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Trial court denies Zack’s claims
Claims filed in federal court
State seeks to dismiss federal claims
My thoughts are with everyone involved in the warrant and execution process.