Florida Supreme Court – Criminal Headnotes – June 8, 2017
BESSMAN OKAFOR V. STATE OF FLORIDA – NO ERROR IN STRIKING PROSPECTIVE JUROR FOR CAUSE – ADMISSION OF IRRELEVANT EVIDENCE WAS HARMLESS ERROR – REMAND FOR PENALTY PHASE POST-HURST WHERE JURY RECOMMENDATION NOT UNANIMOUS
Appeal from conviction for first-degree murder and sentence of death. The trial court did not err in striking for cause a jury panelist who equivocated on whether he would be able to impose the death penalty after determining it was the appropriate punishment. Although the trial court did err in admitting evidence of high capacity magazines recovered from a co-defendant’s residence, this error was harmless. There was sufficient competent evidence to support the conviction. Because the penalty phase jury recommendation was not unanimous, the death sentence is vacated post-Hurst.