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Date: 05-19-2019

Case Style:

The State of Florida vs. Richard Calix

Case Number: 3D16-2784

Judge: Edwin A. Scales, III

Court: Third District Court of Appeal State of Florida

Plaintiff's Attorney: Ashley Moody, Attorney General, and Linda Katz, Assistant Attorney General

Defendant's Attorney: Philip L. Reizenstein


After shooting and killing his victim in a robbery, Richard Calix was
convicted of first degree murder in 1988, a crime he committed when he was
seventeen years old. He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of
parole after twenty-five years. In 2016, Calix filed a post-conviction motion
asserting that his sentence was illegal pursuant to Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460
(2012) and Atwell v. State, 197 So. 3d 1040 (Fla. 2016).1
On November 30, 2016, the trial court granted Calix’s motion. The State
appealed the trial court’s order to this Court and, on April 25, 2018, we affirmed
the order in State v. Calix, 245 So. 3d 928 (Fla. 3d DCA 2018). The State then
appealed our decision to the Florida Supreme Court and, on January 7, 2019, the
Florida Supreme Court quashed our April 25, 2018 opinion on the authority of its
recent decision in Franklin v. State, 258 So. 3d 1239 (Fla. 2018).2 State v. Calix,
1 These decisions, deriving from Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48 (2010), concluded that the imposition of a life sentence on a juvenile homicide offender, without an effective possibility of parole, violated the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Franklin v. State, 258 So. 3d 1239, 1240-41 (Fla. 2018). In Miller v. Alabama, the United States Supreme Court noted that juveniles, due to their age, have “diminished culpability and heightened capacity for change.” 567 U.S. at 479. On this premise, the Supreme Court in Graham and Miller refashioned how a trial court should sentence juveniles to life sentences.
2 In both Franklin and State v. Michel, 257 So. 3d 3 (Fla. 2018), the Florida Supreme Court partly receded from its decision in Atwell v. State, and held that a juvenile offender’s sentence of life imprisonment with a possibility of parole after twenty-five years does not violate the Eighth Amendment, and therefore, the juvenile is not entitled to a re-sentencing. Franklin, 258 So. 3d at 1241; Michel 257 So. 3d at 8.
44 Fla. L. Weekly S125 (Fla. Jan. 7, 2019).

Outcome: Accordingly, we vacate the trial court’s November 30, 2016 order and remand to the trial court to adjudicate Calix’s rule 3.800 motion in light of Franklin.

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