BREVARD COUNTY, Florida – The Florida Supreme Court reversed on Thursday the 2014 death penalty sentence for Brandon Lee Bradley who was convicted of murdering Brevard County Sheriff’s Deputy Barbara Pill in 2012.
While Bradley’s cases was on appeal, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in Hurst v. Florida which ruled that a jury sentence for death must be unanimous. The jury in Bradley’s case had only recommended the death penalty by a 10-2 vote.
Specifically, the Supreme Court held that “the jury in a capital case must unanimously and expressly find all the aggravating factors that were proven beyond a reasonable doubt, unanimously find that the aggravating factors are sufficient to impose death, unanimously find that the aggravating factors outweigh the mitigating circumstances, and unanimously recommend a sentence of death.”
As a result of the Florida Supreme Cuort’s decision, Bradley’s case will be sent back to the trial court in Brevard County for a new penalty phase for a jury to make findings under Hurst.
The Florida Supreme Court did, however, uphold the guilty verdict.
“It is unfortunate for the family, for our community, for our agency to have to go through that again,” said Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey in a press conference on Thursday afternoon.
Ivey also drew an apparent contrast of Brevard County’s State Attorney Phil Archer to Orange County’s State Attorney Aramis Ayala who is not seeking the death penalty in another cop killing case.
“Our State Attorney is here with me and I will tell you that I am extremely proud to not only live but to work in Brevard County – but we have a State Attorney that actually upholds his oath of office and goes after somebody for the death penalty – not a State Attorney that in my opinion is a joke for not going after somebody who killed a cop,” said Ivey.