Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Convicted Man's Sentencing Put off; Lawyers Will Argue That He's Intellectually Disabled

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Convicted Man's Sentencing Put off; Lawyers Will Argue That He's Intellectually Disabled

Article excerpt

Byline: Larry Hannan

Dennis Thurnado Glover will not be put on Death Row this week for the murder of his neighbor, and his fight to stay off Death Row will continue Friday. That's when lawyers for the Jacksonville man will argue that he cannot be sentenced to death because he is intellectually disabled.

Glover, 50, was convicted last year of the murder of 51-year-old Sandra Jean Allen. The jury recommended he be sentenced to death by a 10-2 vote.

Circuit Judge Mallory Cooper was scheduled to rule Friday on whether Glover would get death or life in prison without the possibility of parole. But that ruling was delayed Wednesday after Glover's lawyers filed a motion asking for a new penalty phase in the case.

Cooper will now consider that request Friday instead of ruling on what Glover's sentence will be. If she grants the defense motion another jury will be seated and will be asked to make a recommendation on whether Glover deserves life in prison or death.

Cooper will still be able to make the final decision, although judges in Florida almost never put someone on Death Row when a jury recommends life.

The defense also wants a new Spencer Hearing, which is a hearing where defense attorneys are able to present evidence on why their client should not get the death penalty. Assistant Public Defender Michael Bateh told Cooper that if she denies the request for a new penalty phase his client would still like another Spencer Hearing.

Bateh cited a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that came out last month as the reason to delay the sentencing and reconsider Glover's mental capabilities.

In Hall vs. Florida the Supreme Court ruled that Florida misunderstood a previous opinion designed to protect the intellectually disabled from execution when the state set a strict IQ standard for people facing the death penalty. …

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