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Carlie Brucia Killer’s Appeal Heard At Supreme Court

January 7th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

A man who killed an 11-year-old girl after her abduction was caught on camera and broadcast nationwide, is asking that his death sentence be overturned. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, an attorney for condemned killer Joseph Smith argued before the Florida Supreme Court, that there were so many problems with the trial, Smith deserves a new one.

Hear it Here: Carlie Brucia Killers Appeal Heard At Supreme Court

This video sent shockwaves through parents nationwide. Carlie Brucias abduction caught on security cameras as the 11-year-old took a shortcut home.

Joseph Smith was caught days later and allegedly confessed to raping and murdering the 11-year-old. His alleged confession to family was a point of contention as lawyers appealed Smiths death Sentence to the Florida Supreme Court.

The fact that his brother might have made this up is for the jury, Public Defender Deborah Brueckheimer said.

Smiths lawyer also raised questions about the handling of DNA that linked Smith to the killing suggesting it could have been mishandled by the FBI lab. Another objection was over graphic photos of the body shown to jurors.

They just went too far, Brueckheimer said.

It brought this response from one justice.

I have yet to see photographs from any of these cases that I would say are pleasant, Supreme Court Justice Fred Lewis said.

Here in the Capitol, House and Senate budget cutters are arguing over whether the should cut funds for prison drug treatment programs.

In 2001, when Smith was in prison, lawmakers cut all prison drug rehab funding. Whether drugs played a part in Carlies killing was part of the appeal.

We know he had a long history of drug abuse of all sorts starting at a very early age, Asst. Attorney General Carol Dittmar said.

Afterward, attorneys were reluctant to talk.

The court could rule at any time.

The court itself seemed concerned that the trial judge sited six aggregating factors in imposing death and that at least two of them may have been improper, including a prior conviction in which Smith pleaded no contest.

The state argued the 11-year-olds murder was well thought out in advance since Smith attacked her from behind with a shoe lace and strangled her while her hands were bound.

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