TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida man sentenced to death for hog-tying and bludgeoning a man is getting a chance to challenge his conviction because a juror said gay people are "morally depraved."
The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ordered two new hearings for 55-year-old Eric Kurt Patrick. Patrick was convicted in 2009 of beating Steven Schumacher to death. He told authorities that Schumacher attempted to have sex with him.
The court ruled that Patrick deserved a new hearing on his death sentence because a jury did not unanimously recommend the death penalty.
But justices also said a lower court should hold a new evidentiary hearing because Patrick's attorney did not challenge a juror who said that if a person was gay, then they might be "morally depraved" enough to lie, steal and kill.