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Fla. Supreme Court rules to vacate earlier order on death penalty law

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Posted at 2:57 PM, Jan 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-04 14:57:45-05

   Florida's highest court is retreating from a ruling that said that the state's current death penalty law cannot be applied to people currently awaiting trial for murder.

   The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday morning initially rejected a request by Attorney General Pam Bondi to clarify two death penalty rulings from last October.

   But then the court inexplicably withdrew the order a few hours later and said that it had been "prematurely issued."

   The court action will likely just add to the confusion surrounding the state's death penalty.

   Last fall the court concluded death sentences must require a unanimous jury and then struck down a 2016 law that allowed a defendant to be sentenced to death as long as 10 of 12 jurors recommended it.

   Shortly after that ruling Bondi's senior attorney asked the court to revisit its decision.