Zack Warrant: Hurricane Idalia poses interruption to trial court litigation
This morning, Zack filed an Unopposed Motion to Continue Huff Hearing asking to reschedule the tomorrow's scheduled hearing due to Hurricane Idalia.
Here’s the latest in the trial court litigation:
Zack, through counsel, filed his postconviction motion ahead of his scheduled execution yesterday.
Zack also filed yesterday a motion seeking a stay of execution, to postpone all proceedings, and for leave to amend the postconviction motion.
This morning, Zack filed an unopposed motion to continue the hearing scheduled for tomorrow morning.
Yesterday afternoon, consistent with the trial court’s Scheduling Order, Zack (through counsel) filed his successive postconviction motion seeking relief ahead of his scheduled execution. Here are his claims:
The full motion can be downloaded here.
According to the trial court’s Scheduling Order (covered here), the State’s Answer to Zack’s postconviction motion must be filed by 4:00 p.m. CST today.
Motion to Stay
Also yesterday afternoon, Zack (through counsel) filed a motion seeking a stay of execution, to postpone all proceedings, and for leave to amend the postconviction motion.
In part, the motion argues that the short warrant period “deprives Mr. Zack of his right to due process and meaningful postconviction proceedings.” Further, Zack argues that “the extremely short period between the signing of the death warrant and the execution date gives rise to the genuine danger that substantial claims will be inadequately considered or not considered at all.”
Huff Hearing Continued
This morning, Zack (through counsel) filed an Unopposed Motion to Continue Huff Hearing asking to reschedule the Huff hearing scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. CST due to Hurricane Idalia, which is expected to make landfall on the Gulf Coast of Florida tomorrow as a Category 3 hurricane.
Escambia County, where Zack’s case is being litigated, is on the Gulf Coast, but not in the direct path of the storm as of right now. However, several attorneys involved in the case are in Leon County, which is in the storm’s path.
According to the Florida Supreme Court, here are the court closures across the State as of this morning at 11:00 a.m. EST:
The Huff hearing was scheduled for tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. CST, and then an evidentiary hearing (if needed) was scheduled for Thursday at 10:00 a.m. CST. According to the Florida Supreme Court’s Scheduling Order (covered here), the trial court proceedings must be concluded by Friday.
The motion asked for a one-day continuance on the Huff hearing.
The State did not object to the continuance.
This evening, the court issued an Amended Scheduling Order.
The Amended Scheduling Order moves the case management conference scheduled for tomorrow morning to Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m., which was the slot held for an evidentiary hearing. It further provides that the Court’s order on the case management conference will be filed by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday.
It is unclear how the rest of the items in the original Scheduling Order will be affected.
The Florida Supreme Court has not amended its Scheduling Order related to the warrant litigation.(More 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.
My thoughts are with everyone involved in the warrant and execution process. My thoughts are also with everyone affected by Hurricane Idalia.