Florida may let some death row inmates avoid executions

386 inmates currently on Florida's death row
Posted at 9:54 AM, Dec 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-23 10:10:44-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - More than half of Florida's inmates sentenced to death may avoid execution under a far-reaching ruling handed down by the state's Supreme Court.

A sharply divided court agreed Thursday to stop blocking the execution of Mark Asay, a Jacksonville man sentenced to death in 1987 for murdering two men.

The court halted Asay's execution in March after the U.S. Supreme Court found Florida's death sentencing procedure was flawed because it allows judges to reach a different conclusion from juries.

But a majority of justices have decided that all death sentences imposed before a key 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling can remain in place.

This could clear executions for nearly half of the 386 inmates currently on Florida's death row, but it raises questions about the fate of other inmates.