A Circuit Court Judge in Tampa, the Honorable Steven S. Stephens, did not waste any time denying motions to find Florida's strict liability drug statute unconstitutional even after the recent federal ruling in Mackle Vincent Shelton v. Secretary, Department of Corrections, et. al., Case No.: 6:07-cv-839-Orl-35-KRS. Instead, Judge Stephens consolidated more than 60 cases into a single hearing on Thursday before denying the motions.
In the Mackle Vincent Shelton decision, U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven of Orlando found Florida's drug statute to be unconstitutional on its face as a violation of the due process clause of the Constitution of the United States. The fall out continues as thousands of drug convictions are expected to make their way back through the system in direct appeals, post-conviction motions, and federal writs of habeas corpus.
Thousands of pending cases will also be delayed as judges, prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys struggle with the implications of the decision. Read more at Florida's Drug Statute is Unconstitutional: Blame the Legislature - Tough on Crime, Dumb on Due Process.