23 April 2020 :
Death sentence reinstated for Joseph Smith----Smith lost his bid for a new sentencing trial Tuesday in Sarasota for the Feb. 1, 2004 kidnapping, rape and murder of 11-year-old Carlie Brucia. Judge Charles Roberts reinstated the death penalty in a ruling that pivoted on the interpretation of a U.S. Supreme Court determination that Florida’s maximum sentence was unconstitutional because it required a unanimous verdict to enforce. A jury sentenced Smith to death in 2006 on a 10-2 vote. Working with a complex case in which an unrelated death-penalty verdict (State v. Poole, 23/01/2020) had been reinstated in January by a newly reorganized Florida Supreme Court, despite a jury’s 10-2 vote in that case, State Attorney Ed Brodsky filed a motion to reapply Smith’s original sentence, which had been vacated. Judge Roberts concurred with prosecutors. Carlie Brucia’s chilling and brazen abduction was caught on a video surveillance camera in the parking lot of Evie’s Car Wash on Bee Ridge Road as she walked home around 6 p.m. on Feb. 1, 2004. Her body was discovered four days later, some 3 miles from the scene of her kidnapping. The case has cost the state a reported $18 million to prosecute.