USA - Florida. Jury sentences Howard Steven Ault, 57, White, to death

USA - Ault (FL)

26 February 2024 :

February 22, 2024 - Florida. Jury sentences Howard Steven Ault, 57, White, to death
For the 3rd time
A Broward jury voted on Thursday to send Ault back to death row, effectively ending his 3rd attempt to avoid execution for the 1996 rape and murder of two sisters, who were just 11 and 7 years old.
Ault has been sent to death row twice for the crime, first in 1999 and again in 2007. Both recommendations were overturned, though his convictions were upheld. The jury that heard the case against him this month decided unanimously that prosecutors proved the murders were heinous, atrocious and cruel, among other “aggravating factors” that must be proved to legally permit a death sentence.
But the actual recommendation was not unanimous. Only 9 of the 12 jurors voted to sentence Ault to death by lethal injection. Had his trial been held a year earlier, Ault would have been spared execution and sentenced to life in prison because Florida law at the time required a unanimous vote.
That changed last spring when the Florida Legislature, reacting to the sentencing of the Parkland mass shooter, changed the requirement to an 8-4 majority.
While a death sentence is the most likely outcome for Ault, his fate is not sealed. Broward Circuit Judge Martin Fein scheduled a hearing April 22 to listen to any additional evidence and arguments from both sides, giving defense lawyer Joseph Kimok and his team a final chance to persuade him to override the jury’s recommendation and spare Ault’s life. (On the Ault case see also HoC 06/11/2003, 21/08/2007, 09/03/2017.),sister%2C%20who%20witnessed%20the%20crime.


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