TALLAHASSEE, Fla Ten years ago this past Saturday, the kidnapping of 11 year old Carlie Brucia was captured on a car wash security camera. Wednesday, her convicted killer Joseph Smith had his appeal heard by the Florida Supreme Court, and the appeal was as unusual as the murder ten years ago.
Supers: February 1, 2004
0:29-0:30 Nat Sot
0:35-0:42 Sot: Peggy Quince
Supreme Court Justice
0:44-0:46 Nat Sot
1:04-1:12 Mike Vasilinda Standup
1:13-1:24 Robert Stain
This video of 11 year old Carlie Brucia being led to her death shocked the nation a decade ago...
Five days later, Joseph Smith, the man leading Carlie led police to Carlie’s shallow grave. He was sentenced to death.
On Wednesday, the Florida Supreme Court heard Smiths second appeal and it was as strange as the murder itself. His lawyer argued Smith should have been allowed to question jurors to see if they did something improper.
“Juror Misconduct”, Even the battle tested Justices were surprised.
Supreme Court Justice Peggy Quince questioned the defense attorney. “ There were no...no factual issues that needed to be developed...on this record?
He replied. “That’s correct mam.”
The Justice replied “I guess it’s just ...it defies my...”
The hearing lasted just half of the allotted time which is also unheard of in death appeals.
Afterwards Attorney Robert Strain told us the legs of any appeal were cut from under him when killer Joseph Smith led police to Carlie’s body before ever being indicted.
“Smith’s lawyer is banking on coming Federal appeal in which he’ll argue he ought to be allowed to cross examine the chemist who analyized Smith’s DNA
Attorney Robert Strain, “If a dna expert testifies in court about the lab tests, he has to be the one who conducted the lab tests, not some supervisor reading it. So it’s a complicated case.”
The court sent a clear signal it wasn’t buying Smith’s arguments, which moves Joseph Smith one step closer to his execution.
Five other issues were raised in briefs filed with the court. All contend the Death Penalty is unconstitutional because of jury instructions, lethal injection procedures, or violates an inmates rights. All have been previously dismissed by the court.