FLORIDA (USA): DEATH SENTENCE OF ANTHONY FARINA VACATED
September 30, 2013: The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit vacated the death sentence of Anthony Farina, 29, White.
Farina is an Italian-born American citizen, for which associations Hands Off Cain, Reprieve and the Community of Sant'Egidio have campaigned for the recognition of Italian citizenship (obtained on November 2, 2012) and against his death sentence.
The federal appeal court decided that Farinaâ€™s original counsel was so deficient that his sentence is unconstitutional. It found that the misconduct during his resentencing (namely the prosecutorâ€™s statements about religion and manipulations of his pastor) were so egregious that the original counselâ€™s failure to raise that misconduct requires reversal.
The court therefore held that the Florida state courts must provide Anthony a new sentencing hearingâ€”which means that his prior death sentence is vacated.
The State of Florida may still seek the death penalty during re-sentencing, but it will have more difficulty doing so than in the first trial. The opinion is both per curiam and unpublished, which makes it less likely that the Eleventh Circuitâ€™s en banc court (which consists of all of the judges on the circuit) or the United States Supreme Court would be willing to consider reversing this decision. (Sources: Hands Off Cain, 30/09/2013)