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Donald Dillbeck's team asks U.S. Supreme Court to stop his execution

Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office rejects arguments
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Posted at 12:04 PM, Feb 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-22 17:53:06-05

UPDATE 2/21/2023: The attorneys representing Donald David Dillbeck filed a response Tuesday to the U.S. Supreme Court addressing the state of Florida's opposition of his petition to stop his scheduled execution.

In the filing, they argued that Dillbeck had a categorical exemption from execution under the eighth and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution and the eighth amendment prohibits the execution of those not sentenced to death by a unanimous jury.

Dillbeck is requesting the U.S. Supreme Court grant his application for a stay of execution and grant a writ of certiorari, which is an order to the lower court to provide a record of the case to be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Dillbeck is represented by Linda McDermott of the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of Florida and Baya Harrison of Monticello.

McDermott is the attorney of record.

UPDATE: 2/20/2023 10:00 P.M.

Monday, Donald David Dillbeck's team asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop his execution from happening this week. New court documents were published Monday showing the arguments his lawyers made and how Florida’s attorney general responded.

Monday, Dillbeck’steam argued he has cognitive, practical, and social impairments tied to Neurobehavioral Disorder Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. They said he should be exempt from execution under the Eighth Amendment protections.

Florida's attorney general, Ashley Moody, filed paperwork saying the application for the stay of execution should be denied. Moody’s team argued Dillbeck does not meet the factors that grant a stay of execution.

The Supreme Court of Florida has denied multiple appeals from Dillbeck's team. The most recent was Thursday, Feb. 16. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a death warrant for Dillbeck Jan. 23. In 1991, Dillbeck was convicted in a Leon County court for the 1990 murder of Faye Vann.

Dillbeck is scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 23.
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INITIAL STORY
The Supreme Court of Florida denied multiple appeals from a man scheduled to be executed for killing a Tallahassee woman in 1990.

The court released an opinion Thursday denying Donald David Dillbeck’s two appeals to stay or halt his execution.

The court also denied his appeal of a fourth successive postconviction motion, petition writ of habeas corpus and two motions for argument that was filed with the court Feb. 7.

Dillbeck is scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 23.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a death warrant for Dillbeck Jan. 23.

In 1991, Dillbeck was convicted in a Leon County court for the 1990 murder of Faye Vann.

Dillbeck, who was serving a life sentence for fatally shooting Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputy Dwight Lynn Hall in 1979 when he was 15 years old, left a function that other inmates were catering in Quincy.

Dillbeck then walked to Tallahassee, purchased a knife, went to a parking lot and attempted to hijack a car operated by Vann.

Vann was seated in her vehicle in a parking lot when Dillbeck attempted to hijack the vehicle.

Court documents note Vann defended herself, but Dillbeck stabbed Vann several time, which led to her death.

Dillbeck was convicted of murder, armed robbery and armed burglary for the incident with Vann.

Dillbeck's attorneys appealed to the state supreme court that the circuit court errored in ruling that Dillbeck was not entitled to exemption from execution on the eighth and 14th amendments of the United States Constitution.

Dillbeck's attorneys noted new evidence produced in 2019 that he was diagnosed with Neurodevelopmental Disorder associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure.

The attorneys argued the disorder led to the crime in 1979.

Executing Dillbeck would violate the eighth amendment, which prohibits excessive bail, fines and cruel and unusual punishment.

Dillbeck has been on death row since his conviction in 1991.

His attorneys requested the Supreme Court of Florida, "remand his case for an evidentiary hearing, vacate his sentence of death, and/or grant a stay of execution so that he can litigate his Johnson v. Mississippi claim in an effective manner."