Zack Warrant: State seeks to dismiss federal action
Yesterday, the State filed a Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, arguing that Zack has failed to state a viable claim for relief.
Michael Zack’s execution is scheduled for October 3 at 6:00 p.m. Briefing in his appeal pending at the Florida Supreme Court is scheduled to begin tomorrow.
Earlier this week, Michael Zack, through his attorneys, filed claims in federal court. Specifically, Zack argues that he was denied due process in his clemency proceedings. He argues that Florida’s clemency process for those under sentence of death is an act in futility and does not provide any meaningful review, citing the following statistic:
As to his case specifically, the Complaint explains that former Gov. Rick Scott “instituted clemency proceedings” for Zack in 2013. He had an interview in 2014, after which a memorandum was submitted. Since then, Zack and his attorneys have not heard anything—until Gov. DeSantis signed the warrant.
The Complaint (without attachments) can be downloaded here.
In addition, Zack filed an Emergency Motion for Stay of Execution, seeking a stay of his scheduled execution while the Court reviews his claims.
State’s Response to Zack’s Filings
Yesterday, the Defendants in the federal action (State officials) filed a Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings in response to Zack’s Complaint.
They argue that Zack’s challenge to his clemency proceedings “is baseless as a matter of law” and that the matter “is frivolous.”
As to the clemency process, they argue that (1) the Governor has unlimited discretion to deny clemency at any time for any reason; (2) only minimal due process is due death-row inmates in clemency proceedings; and (3) Zack was never denied the opportunity to submit additional clemency-related documents.
The State’s full Motion can be downloaded here.
The State also responded to Zack’s Emergency Motion for Stay of Execution, arguing he is not entitled to a stay because he has not pled a colorable claim for relief. The full response can be downloaded 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’s denial of Zack’s postconviction motion
Zack seeks relief in federal court
My thoughts are with everyone involved in the warrant and execution process.