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Zack Warrant: Trial court denies evidentiary hearing and defense motions
Following a hearing Thursday morning, the trial court denied Zack's motion to stay, Zack's request for an evidentiary hearing, and Zack's postconviction motion.
The trial court has denied all of Zack’s claims.
Huff Hearing Thursday (Aug. 31)
The trial court held its rescheduled Huff hearing this morning in Michael Zack’s case related to his execution scheduled October 3 at 6:00 p.m. (More on the rescheduling due to Hurricane Idalia here.)
The hearing worksheet indicated that the trial court denied the relief sought by Zack.
Denial of Evidentiary Hearing
Later Thursday afternoon, the trial court issued an Order stating that the Court determined an evidentiary hearing is not necessary to resolve Zack’s postconviction motion.
Denial on the Merits
Thursday evening just after 6:00 p.m., the trial court entered an Order Denying Successive Motion for Postconviction Relief and Motion to Stay—denying Zack’s postconviction motion on the merits and denying Zack’s motion to stay. (The full Order can be downloaded here.)
On Claim 1 (Zack’s claim related to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome), the trial court determined the claim is procedurally barred because Zack previously raised claims related to intellectual disability. The Court further determined that the claim is untimely.
On the merits, the Court determined Zack’s claim fails because Florida state courts cannot expand Atkins. Here’s the Court’s full analysis on the merits:
On Claim 2 (regarding the jury’s nonunanimous recommendation for death), the Court’s analysis was as follows (in full):
The Court also denied Zack’s motion to stay.
Zack’s Notice of Appeal to the Supreme Court of Florida is due on Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. (Monday is a holiday.)
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
My thoughts are with everyone involved in the warrant and execution process. My thoughts are also with everyone affected by Hurricane Idalia.