The Office of the State Attorney announced today that Judge Edward Nickinson issued an order that denied Eric Branch’s Application for Stay of Execution and Motion to Vacate Judgment and Sentence. Branch had alleged that he should not be sentenced to death because his brain development rendered him cognitively comparable to a juvenile under the age of 18. He also alleged that his experience on death row over the last 25 years constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the 8th Amendment.
In today’s order Judge Nickinson denied both of those claims and did not issue a Stay of Execution. This order paves the way for his execution to take place on Feb. 22, 2018. Branch will appeal this decision to the Florida Supreme Court.