Local death row inmate has case heard in Florida Supreme Court

TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WMBB) — Florida Supreme Court Justices heard Roderick Orme’s death sentence appeal Thursday morning in Tallahassee. 

Orme’s been on death row for more than three decades.

The 62-year-old raped, beat, then killed Lisa Redd in a Panama City motel room in 1992. 

He was originally sentenced to death, then resentenced to death after one of his appeals.

On Thursday defense attorneys argued that Orme, sitting on death row for 30 years, constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

Citing the Lackey theory, they said that violates the United States Constitution. But neither Florida nor the United States recognized the Lackey theory. Two years ago, Orme said he was ready to die. But Thursday his attorney argued Orme has the right to appeal his sentencing to a trial judge.

“He didn’t waive the right not to be killed,” Orme’s Attorney Barbara Busharis said. “He waived a jury, he waived mitigation. He put his fate in the hands of a trial judge. But it was certainly possible at that point, although highly unlikely that that particular trial judge could have sentenced him to life.”

Judges said it’s curious they’re arguing about the time frame. Orme has sat on death row, in a case where the defendant has said he wanted to die. State attorneys argued that long death row sentences are not unconstitutional.

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