- Associated Press - Thursday, December 22, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A man who wrapped his crying 10-month-old son in a garbage bag and placed him next to the baby’s dead mother to suffocate will have a chance to get off death row after the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a new sentencing hearing.

The reason: Eleven years ago a jury recommended death by an 8-4 vote and the Supreme Court decided in October that death sentences need to be unanimous. Mosley will now be sentenced again for the murder of his son Jay-Quan Mosley. He received a life sentence for murdering the boy’s mother, 40-year-old Lynda Wilkes.

Mosley’s case received widespread attention in Jacksonville when Wilkes and her son were reported missing in April 2004 after she met Mosley in attempt to get him to pay child support.

Nine days later, her burned body was found about 55-miles away after a teenage drug dealer with Mosley the night of the murders tipped off police. The teen testified that Mosley strangled Wilkes and put a bag over her head, then placed the boy in the garbage bag, tied it and placed it next to Wilkes’ body.

The baby was later tossed in a trash bin. Investigators searched a Georgia landfill for days, but never found the body.

“It was a horrible case,” said former Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford. “This is a travesty of justice. When people are sentenced under the existing rules, and then to go back and change those rules … I’ve got issues with that.”

Rutherford, who will be sworn into his first term in Congress next month, said if the Supreme Court wants to require a unanimous decision going forward, he’s fine with that, but to order new sentencing hearings for scores of death row inmates is costly and creates hardships on victims’ families who have to relive the details of the crimes.

“There’s no change in evidence, there’s no change in guilt or innocence,” Rutherford said. “These families are going to go through excruciating, gut-wrenching situations to have to go through a resentencing phase for these cases.”


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