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Raymond Curtis Bright - Florida Death Row - Page 2
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Thread: Raymond Curtis Bright - Florida Death Row

  1. #11
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Duval County starts death penalty cases again with brutal killings

    By Eileen Kelley
    The Florida Times-Union

    At a little past 1 p.m. Wednesday, a 12-person jury of equal parts men and woman were ushered into a Duval County courtroom to do what no jury has done for quite some time here.

    Sometime next week after all photos of the gruesome crime scene are revealed, the hammer that gnawed away at the skulls of the two young men are passed around and the horrific nature of Raymond Bright’s childhood is explored, this jury will decide if the 63-year-old Bright should be put to death for killing 16-year-old Randall Brown and 20-year-old Derrick King.

    A jury eight years ago found Bright guilty of the 2008 murders. They voted 8 to 4 to sentence Bright to death. Today, that vote would not be enough to condemn a man to death.

    The Florida House passed legislation in March that said Florida juries must unanimously decide if a defendant convicted of capital crimes should be put to death. The 112-3 vote paved the way for Gov. Rick Scott to once again begin signing death warrants. He has since signed two.

    The measure also paved the way for Florida courts to once again try people for death penalty cases after a January 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case known as Hurst v. Florida put the skids on death penalty cases in the state.

    Prior to that landmark decision, Bright’s death sentence was thrown out by a Florida Supreme Court after it sided with a lower court that found Bright’s trial lawyers did not investigate his mental-health history and childhood. His case was sent back for re-sentencing.

    So, in Circuit Judge Russell Healy’s courtroom Wednesday, a death penalty case started again in Duval County. The jury can only decided if Bright should get life or death.

    The 2016 Hurst decision and other similar higher court cases are sending hundreds of cases backs to Florida courtrooms for re-sentencing hearings.

    Bright is being tried by veteran prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda and Pam Hazel, the same team that tried him in 2009.

    King was asleep on the couch when Bright beat him on the head 38 times with a hammer. He was also hit another 20 times on his hands and arms. Brown died cradled in a Lazy Boy after being hit in the head 14 times. He was hit another 20 times on other parts of the body with the hammer.

    “They were asleep when this defendant came upon them and beat them senseless. It was a heinous murder. It was shockingly evil and wicked,” de la Rionda told the jury in his opening statement.

    The state is expected to wrap up its portion of the case Thursday, de la Rionda said. After that, the defense will begins its portion of the case.

    Defense attorney Michael Williams told jurors Bright suffered from adverse trauma from his childhood and once they understood that, they may understand more about crimes he committed. Williams put seven people on his witness list.

    “We believe the verdict should be life in prison without the possibility of parole,” Williams said.

    Because of Hurricane Irma, the court will be in recess Friday, Monday and possibly Tuesday.

    http://jacksonville.com/news/public-...rutal-killings

  2. #12
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Sister paints ugly portrait of killer’s childhood

    By Eileen Kelley
    The Florida Times-Union

    They were raised around heaps of junk by a hoarder father with a nasty temper and a taste for booze. Willie Bright kept tally of the little of indiscretions of his children.

    Whippings happened about every other day. And then there were the twice monthly all-out beatings.

    Willie Bright would use an electrical chord or belt and beat his son for hours in between reading Bible verses out loud.

    Bright’s sister and a psychologist painted the dismal picture of Raymond Curtis Bright’s early life.

    From the first sign of sunlight, Raymond Curtis Bright and his sibling were made to go out into the junkyard and pull parts from cars to ready them for salvage.

    Raymond Curtis Bright and his siblings would work until nightfall even on the day he accidentally set himself on fire as a child doing adult labor. With no plumbing and after working in the father’s junkyard day in and day out, the Bright children were taunted after showing up to school in soiled clothes. That was the way of life for the Raymond Curtis Bright from about the age 5 on.

    “Dad would holler at him and grit his teeth,” said Janice Jones, Raymond Curtis Bright’s sister, who called her brother by his middle name. “I think Curtis suffered more. … It’s like my dad preyed on the weak. Curtis was weaker.”

    With the exception of depression, Jones turned out OK.

    Her brother, who stuttered and wet his bed as a young man, did not.

    Until a Florida Supreme Court decision last year, Bright has been on Florida’s Death Row for killing two young men who apparently moved into his Jacksonville home in 2008. His case has been sent back to the lower court for a re-sentencing hearing where jurors must unanimously decide if 63-year-old should go back to Death Row.

    His case is the first time a Duval jury has taken up a death penalty case since the U.S. Supreme Court said Florida’s death penalty scheme was unconstitutional in early 2016.

    For the family members of Randall Brown, 16, and Derrick King, 20, the past two days in the courtroom have been emotional.

    Nine years has done little blunt the pain of losing a brother or a son, King and Brown’s family members told the jury Thursday.

    Sundays were about God and family time for Brown’s family. His mother, a preacher, made sure of that. It’s just not the same anymore, said Shannon Brown, his older sister

    “I miss his smile. I miss his voice. I even miss our arguing,” she said. “Losing Randall has changed my life forever.”

    As a young man. Derrick King stood close to his mom in the kitchen and watched over her shoulder as she cooked. He became fascinated with the thought of one day being able to cook for a bride, his mother, Carolyn Jaudon, said.

    “Now, I don’t even celebrate Mother’s Day anymore,” Jaudon said. “Without Derrick, there is no joy to me. … Our family is broken.”

    In addition to family, the jury Thursday heard testimony from three psychologists, including one who specializes in trauma.

    Steven Gold testified he spent six hours with Bright and administered a test that can measure the likelihood of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and a proclivity for risky behavior. Bright, Gold said, scored a 10 of 10, something rarely seen. He testified that even one factor, such as suffering psychological neglect, could put a person at risk.

    “He had all 10,” Gold said.

    Bright’s defense attorney asked Gold if post-traumatic stress disorder played a role in Bright’s case.

    “Yes it did,” said Gold. “… Mr. Bright constantly felt in danger. … He was prone to be especially anxious and worried.”

    Because of Hurricane Irma, the jury is in recess until noon Wednesday. At least one more defense witness will testify. It was not clear Thursday if Bright intends to take the stand Wednesday.

    After closing statements , a jury will decide if Bright deserves to spend the remainder of his life behind bars, or be sent back to death row.

    http://jacksonville.com/news/public-...er-s-childhood
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  3. #13
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Jurors decide second death sentence for Jacksonville man who bludgeoned 2 to death with a hammer

    By Eileen Kelley
    The Florida Times-Union

    In all likelihood Raymond Bright will die in prison. Barring a successful appeal, the 63-year-old will either die at the hands of the state or of natural causes while on Florida’s death row.

    Monday a jury unanimously found that Bright should be condemned to die for the 2008 deaths of 16-year-old Randall Brown and 20-year-old Derrick King, who were bludgeoned with a hammer while they were hanging out at his home. Several members of the jury had strained facial expressions and a few appeared on the verge of tears as the verdicts were read in the Duval County courtroom.

    It took the jury three hours to reach the verdicts for the double slaying. Monday was the third and final day of the case that began nearly three weeks ago but was delayed mid-stream after the day’s end on Sept. 7 because of Hurricane Irma’s impending approach. Then after that, there were scheduling conflicts.

    Bright showed no reaction to the verdicts. King was beaten over the head with a hammer 38 times and struck another 20 times in the arms and hands. Brown died cradled in a Lazy Boy after being stuck 14 times on the head with the hammer. A judge in 2009 condemned Bright to death after a jury voted 8 to 4 in favor of sentencing the former Marine to death.

    Now in Florida, verdicts for the death penalty must be unanimous. Because of that, hundreds of cases across the state are being sent back for re-sentencing hearings. Bright’s case though was sent back to Duval County because the Florida Supreme Court threw out the death sentence when it sided with a lower court that said his mental health had not been taken into account at his original trial.

    In this re-sentencing hearing, three psychologists testified that the Bright suffered a horrendous childhood. One psychologist said his case was one of the worst that he has even seen. Bright’s sister testified to the suffering her brother endured. Bright did not get called to the stand.

    Because the guilt of Bright had been established in 2009, the jury had to decide if he should be re-sentenced to life in prison or to death. It chose death.

    “He deserves every bit. May he rot in hell,” said King’s mother, Carolyn Jaudon. “My son got justice now. We don’t have to keep running back and forth to court so we can feel sympathy for his [Bright’s] childhood. No way in hell.”

    Jaudon embraced Carrie Brown Gray, Brown’s mother after the hearing. Both cried and thanked prosecutors Bernie de la Rionda and Pam Hazel. The two of them also prosecuted Bright in 2009.

    “I’m so sorry you had to go through this all again,” Hazel told the mothers.

    Defense attorney Kelli Bynum, gave a passionate closing statement about the horror of Bright’s life.

    “I’m not asking you to save the life of a man. I’m begging you to spare the life of a sinner. Air on the side of grace. Air on the side of mercy,” she said.

    It’s a heavy decision, said de la Rionda of the jury’s responsibility now. Before the 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, a jury’s decision in Florida didn’t have to be unanimous and on top of that, it was just a recommendation to a judge. All that has changed.

    Bright’s new sentencing is the first death penalty case to be heard in Duval County since the death penalty was reinstated this year.

    http://jacksonville.com/news/public-...o-bludgeoned-2
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  4. #14
    Moderator Ryan's Avatar
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    Man convicted of killing 2 people in 2008 resentenced to death

    Jacksonville, Fla. - A 63-year-old man convicted of killing 2 people with a hammer in 2008 is going back on Florida's death row.

    Citing inadequate legal representation, the Florida Supreme Court last year ordered Raymond Bright re-sentenced and the chance to avoid the death penalty for the murders of Derrick King and Randall Brown.

    Prosecutors said the victims were killed what during a drug-related dispute.

    In part, the Supreme Court described Bright's "nightmarish childhood," which included significant abuse, and said such issues were not adequately raised during the original sentencing to try to spare Bright from the death penalty.

    "The jury never learned who Raymond Bright is," the Supreme Court opinion said. "Therefore, competent, substantial evidence supports the findings of the post-conviction court that Bright was prejudiced by the deficient performance of his penalty phase counsel."

    But after a sentencing hearing in the Duval County Courthouse Friday morning, Judge Russell Healey re-sentenced Bright to two death sentences. He will be returned to the Florida Department of Corrections.

    https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/...enced-to-death

  5. #15
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    'Craigslist killer' among 2 death row inmates requesting resentencing

    Man convicted of killing 2 people with hammer also wants resentencing

    By Capitol News

    Raymond Bright is requesting 3rd resentencing.


    Attorneys for a 63-year-old man convicted of killing two people with a hammer in 2008 are asking for a third sentencing hearing.

    The lawyers said Raymond Bright deserves another chance at life because the trial court discounted arguments that Bright suffered from post-traumatic stress, which resulted from childhood abuse.

    Judges seemed skeptical. The state argued the crimes were so horrific, a death sentence was appropriate.

    "The defendant took a hammer and bludgeoned both Derrick King and Randall Brown to death," said Assistant Attorney General Lisa Hopkins. "The medical examiner testified that Derrick King suffered more than 38 injuries to his head and 20 to his extremities.

    He had injuries consistent with defensive wounds and also testified that Mr. Brown had over 20 injuries."

    Prosecutors said the victims were killed in what was described as a drug-related dispute.

    The court took the case under advisement. Rulings can take one to six months or more for a decision to be made.

    https://www.news4jax.com/news/florid...g-resentencing
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  6. #16
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Bobsicles's Avatar
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    On June 30, 2020, Bright filed a habeas petition in Federal District Court.

    https://dockets.justia.com/docket/fl...cv00673/378756
    Thank you for the adventure - Axol

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    Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever. - Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt

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  7. #17
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Bobsicles's Avatar
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    Distributed for conference March 19, 2021.

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/search....c/20-6824.html
    Thank you for the adventure - Axol

    Tried so hard and got so far, but in the end it doesnt even matter - Linkin Park

    Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever. - Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt

    Im going to the ghost McDonalds - Garcello

  8. #18
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Bobsicles's Avatar
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    Bright was denied a petition for writ of certiorari March 22, 2021.

    Lower Ct: Supreme Court of Florida
    Case Numbers: (SC17-2244)
    Decision Date: April 2, 2020
    Rehearing Denied: August 13, 2020

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/search....c/20-6824.html
    Thank you for the adventure - Axol

    Tried so hard and got so far, but in the end it doesnt even matter - Linkin Park

    Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever. - Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt

    Im going to the ghost McDonalds - Garcello

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