Gore’s attorneys filed motions before the nation’s high court after the Florida Supreme Court on Monday denied a post conviction appeal he filed after Gov. Rick Scott signed his death warrant Feb. 28.
Gore, 58, is expected to receive a lethal injection at 6 p.m. Thursday for the 1983 first-degree murder of Lynn Elliott, 17, of Vero Beach.
He also is serving several life prison terms after pleading guilty to killing five other women in Indian River County between 1981 and 1983.
In legal papers filed Tuesday, Gore’s attorneys asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the state Supreme Court’s decision that upheld a trial court’s order issued in March. That ruling, issued by Circuit Judge Dan Vaughn, denied Gore’s request for a hearing to present evidence related to legal claims raised in an effort to stop his execution.
Assistant State Attorney Ryan Butler said lawyers with the Florida Attorney General’s office are expected to file legal responses as early as Wednesday.
“The Florida Supreme Court found no merit to these claims,” Butler noted Tuesday. “And we don’t believe anything has changed in the last 24 hours to convince the U.S. Supreme Court otherwise.”
His lawyers also bypassed the U.S. District Court and filed to the U.S. Supreme Court a writ of habeas corpus, essentially asking the justices to determine the legality of his incarceration. The lawyers noted in a 24-page brief that since his 1984 conviction, Gore has twice filed federal habeas petitions before the U.S. District Court, with one resulting in a sentencing do-over in 1992.
His second federal habeas petition, Gore’s attorneys noted, was denied in 2008.
Gore again presented claims that his post conviction attorneys failed to sufficiently argue that he received ineffective counsel at his 1992 resentencing. His attorneys based their argument on a recent U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling they said found a defendant has to have an effective attorney in the appeal process to show ineffective counsel at trial.