The man convicted of killing Sarasota 11-year-old Carlie Brucia in 2004 has been sitting on death row for more than a decade. Now, he is trying to be resentenced under the state's new death penalty law.
According to WWSB, Joseph Smith is appealing his sentence, arguing it's no longer valid under the new law, which requires a unanimous jury recommendation for death before the death penalty can be imposed.
"It appears almost certain that Joseph Smith's death sentence will be reversed," said Adam Tebrugge, who defended Smith in 2004, "and his case will go back to Sarasota County for a new re-sentencing trial."
Brucia was the subject of a days-long search after she disappeared in February 2004. Her body was found behind a Sarasota church.
Smith was convicted of abducting, raping and killing Brucia behind a car wash on Bee Ridge Road. He was sentenced to death in March 2006.
For more details, read WWSB's story.