Sarasota judge denies changing re-sentencing date in case where 11-year-old girl was raped, murdered

Sarasota Judge Denies Resentencing in Rape Murder

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A Sarasota man on death row is trying to get his re-sentencing date pushed back even further.

Joseph Smith was convicted of the February 2004 murder of 11-year-old Carlie Brucia. The case drew national attention after surveillance video showed a man, later identified as Smith, taking Brucia from behind a car wash on Bee Ridge Road.

After days of searching, investigators found her body in a wooded area behind a Sarasota church.

Smith was found guilty in 2006 of abducting, raping and killing her. A jury voted 10-2 to sentence him to death.

In 2016, the United States Supreme Court stuck down Florida’s death penalty sentencing requirements as unconstitutional. State lawmakers passed a new law requiring 10 out of 12 jurors to vote in favor of death. Florida’s Supreme Court struck down that law as unconstitutional. Lawmakers drafted a new sentencing law requiring a unanimous jury vote to put someone to death. In March 2018, Governor Rick Scott signed it into law. Now, hundreds of death row inmates can appeal their sentences, including Smith.

On Thursday, Smith asked to push back the re-sentencing date to next year but a judge ruled against that.

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