A lawyer’s attempt to get the Supreme Court to investigate the death of an inmate who died of an asthma attack
By: Alex Hernández, Ars Technicom staff writerA lawyer is hoping to get a Supreme Court investigation into the death at the hands of Florida’s prison system, the Sarasota Tribune obituary writes.
The death of inmate David “Davey” Hill was initially ruled a suicide, but a Florida court ruled it was actually a homicide.
Hill’s body was found on Feb. 1, 2015, in a cage that he shared with another inmate.
The judge in that case ruled the death a homicide, but the Supreme State Court agreed that a suicide was not the only reason the judge ruled it.
Hill was a nonviolent drug offender who was sentenced to death.
His attorney, John L. Poulos, says the court’s ruling on Hill’s death was a huge victory for the death penalty, which is the only method currently on the books in Florida.
The Supreme Court in April ruled that states can still use capital punishment, but states must prove that the person sentenced to the death is guilty of a crime and that the penalty has a “compelling state interest.”
Poulos has been pushing for a state inquiry into Hill’s case for several years, but he’s never had the opportunity to meet with the Supreme Courts.
In fact, Poulos says he has received only one request to investigate Hill’s execution.
Poulis has had his eyes on the Supreme court for some time, and has also received support from groups like the Sentencing Project, which says the death sentence should be a last resort.
The Sentencing Proposal, a group of law professors and activists who support the death chamber, has been working on a proposal for the court that would require the court to investigate death row inmates’ death.
Poulsons efforts have so far been unsuccessful.
The Florida Supreme Court has not taken up Poulos’ proposal.
Hill died of a severe asthma attack, which Poulos believes may have contributed to his untimely demise.
Hill, who was on death row for a murder conviction in 2013, had been under medical supervision since his release in 2009.
He had been receiving medication for a condition he says led to his asthma attacks, and he was being treated for a lung condition in the years before his death.
The case against him was thrown out by the Florida Supreme court in 2014, after a medical examiner ruled his death was an accident.
A medical examiner later said there was no evidence to support a medical condition as a reason for Hill’s passing.
But in an opinion that was widely read as a victory for medical experts and the death row population, the Florida Court of Appeals overturned that ruling.
The appellate court held that Hill’s illness may have played a role in his death, and that medical experts testified that Hill was suffering from a lung disease.
Hill has appealed that ruling, arguing that the court erred in not following its own precedent in overturning his conviction.
POULOS: We are going to fight for every death sentence in the United States that we have on death rows in the death room, not in the penitentiary.
The court has not been able to do that, and I think we will have a case before the Supreme on that point.
When Poulos first brought the issue to the Supreme, he was surprised to learn that the appeals court had ruled that medical records from Hill’s medical personnel could be reviewed.
PITCHENS: They had ruled, for example, that his asthma attack was a medical emergency and that he had been treated for that.
But the court hadn’t ruled that he was actually an emergency.
They had found that his death had been a homicide because he was not a violent, violent offender.
The appeals court found that the medical records did not indicate that Hill had been an emergency, that he suffered from an asthma, or that his condition led to a medical crisis.
The hearing for Poulos was the first of two that would be held in the case, which was ultimately dismissed.
The other hearing, scheduled for February, was postponed to March because of a scheduling conflict, which meant that the hearing on Poulos’s request for a Supreme court inquiry had to be held on Feb 14.
On March 4, the Supreme denied Poulos request to hold the hearing.
PULLS: I thought it was very disappointing.
We’re supposed to have this discussion about whether death is the appropriate sentence for someone like David Hill.
I felt that this case was going to be a very important one to bring to the court, and we’ve just not gotten that chance.
I just think it was a terrible miscarriage of justice on our part.
The next hearing in the Hill case was held in late February.
The justices scheduled the hearing for March 14, but Poulos and the Florida Department of Corrections agreed to reschedule the hearing if the hearing was postponed for a week. PICKENS