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Supreme Court throws out Ft. Pierce death sentence, orders new trial

by Dara Kam | February 25th, 2010

554901The Florida Supreme Court overturned a death sentence for Alwin Tumblin, convicted of murdering a Ft. Pierce auto shop owner in 2004.

The 5-2 ruling also threw out all the convictions associated with the robbery and murder of Jimmy Johns and ordered a new trial for Tumblin.

It is the fifth death sentence the Supreme Court has thrown out in the past four years.

Justices Charles Canady and Ricky Polston, both appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist, dissented.

Tumblin’s accomplice Anthony Mayes testified against Tumblin and provided the only eyewitness testimony to the crimes. There was no DNA evidence linking Tumblin, then 25, to the murder.

The high court ruled that Tumblin’s previous trial should have ended in a mistrial because St. Lucie County Deputy Dennis Smith’s testimony that Mayes was telling the truth could have tainted the jury’s decision.

For more on this topic, read the TCoastTalk post, Supreme Court orders new trial for man convicted of Fort Pierce murder

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22 Responses to “Supreme Court throws out Ft. Pierce death sentence, orders new trial”

  1. Toy Says:

    Well Death is final and before we exercise this tool, we should be absolutely sure. There is no coming back, and We’re sorry doesn’t cut it! As a former Corretional Officer/ Correctional Probation Officer I know first hand that there are many injustices and inconsistencies in our system. Offenders should be held accountable but before we stretch forth our hand in this manner, there can be absoultely no room for error! This tool should be used wisely and with discretion!

  2. Profiler Says:

    Great, another couple hundred thousand dollars of taxpayer money for incarceration and trials. Why not? We don’t need the money for anything more important (like Education) do we?

  3. Supreme Court orders new trial for man convicted of Fort Pierce murder | Treasure Coast Talk Says:

    [...] For more on this topic, read Dara Kam’s blog post, Supreme Court throws out Ft. Pierce death sentence, orders new trial [...]

  4. Sandra Jackson Says:

    This is obsurd that my family is going to have to go through yet another trial. My grandfather didn’t get to fight for his life so why should Alwin Tumblin. This is a waste of good tax payers money. What about all of the problems that he caused while he was incarcerated before the trial. He killed my grandfather point blank, along with his accomplice Anthony Mayes. But the people that are suffering right now is my family that has to relive my grandfathers murder all over again. He should have never been released from prison in the first place, because he is a repeat offender, even when he is incarcerated he is still just a thug!!! He had now remorse for taking my grandfathers life so why should any one have remorse for taking his. I think Governer Christ needs to take a long hard look at his records because apparently it was just skimmed over to allow for this appeal to happen!!!!!

  5. Fred Flarbenoid Says:

    This is in response to the posting from Ms. Jackson. I don’t believe that anyone (except gangsters and thugs) are pro-murder. But we don’t execute every murderer, nor could we. Appeals don’t happen because a governor approves them. Appeals are our fundamental constitutional right. Have you ever known someone who was falsely accused of a serious crime? I have, and the results were devastating. The falsely accused individual did not receive even as much as an apology from the authorities, the accuser, nor the accuser’s family.

    The reason we should have remorse for taking a life is because we don’t have “God’s own justice system.” It’s imperfect. And with all due respect, it’s not about your anger, as justified as it may be. I happen to be opposed to the death penalty because unlike any other punishment, it can’t be undone. I happen to be absolutely enraged at the rise in vicious and violent criminal behavior that is not being properly punished. And it’s totally unacceptable anytime someone with a serious criminal record is released early and commits further mayhem.

    Too often, though, our anger over crime is taken out on those who can’t afford lawyers and who get demonstrably second-rate representation. That’s a right we must protect and defend with all our being because without it, the results will be like the “old south” — show trials and quick lynchings regardless of the truth of the charges or fairness of the sentence. Hello! We have a history in this country of killing innocent people because they fit a profile.

    Consider the possiblity that he MAY be not guilty. Our highest state court has carefully reviewed the law and the facts, and has ruled that serious errors at the trial may have prevented a jury from reaching a just conclusion, and that’s not acceptable whether the person serves twenty years or two years, and it’s certainly not acceptable if a death sentence is carried out.

    There is no constitutional right to vengeance, only to justice, and with the death penalty the ultimate punishment, it’s absolutely imperative to ensure that there were no errors and that any hint of new evidence be considered. That hasn’t happened in this country and the “war on murder” doesn’t make it okay to collectively kill those who are victims of our justice system’s inadequacies. It is specifically because people like you get on this board and demand that justice be short-circuited to satisfy your anger that we must taken an even slower approach. I’m sorry for your loss, but I’m sorrier still that you want MY tax dollars which you complain so loudly are being spent ensuring justice to satisfy your desire for closure and quick wrap-up. You can find closure without unilaterally declaring someone guilty of the crime, and if you can’t, then don’t ask ME to become the killer so you can find closure.

  6. Real Deal Says:

    If this guy doesn’t look like a murderer, who does. Juice him and save the state money.

  7. OBIWAN Says:

    IF he is guilty a new trial should prove so.

    NOW, why didn’t the Supremes tell us this within six months of the verdect??

    Why wasn’t the killer brought to his final justice within a year or two of the crime??

    We have over 300 on Death Row, many dating back decades.

    ITS THE DEATH PENALTY STUPID!!

  8. Fred Flarbenoid Says:

    Real Deal: I wrote “Hello! We have a history in this country of killing innocent people because they fit a profile.” Thanks so much for proving my point. You become what you hate.

  9. Fred Flarbenoid Says:

    And every year, there are numerous cases of people being found NOT GUILTY years after their sentence. Yes, it’s the death penalty, stupid. And only the ignorant believe that it’s carried out fairly and that only the guilty pay.

  10. OH NO Says:

    To Real Deal, you have got to be kidding, how does a murderer look??? You could look like one to someone else, but are you???? you or anyone else has the right to judge anyone by there looks, including myself. You don’t judge by looks, you are innocent until proven guilty no matter how you look. Thank God you were not chosen to judge anyone, it could be someone in your close family being judged.

  11. OH NO Says:

    To Real Deal, you have got to be kidding, how does a murderer look??? You could look like one to someone else, but are you???? you or anyone else does not have the right to judge anyone by there looks, including myself. You don’t judge by looks, you are innocent until proven guilty no matter how you look. Thank God you were not chosen to judge anyone, it could be someone in your close family being judged.

  12. tom Says:

    do away with the death penalty!

  13. Simon Says:

    If he’s guilty, and goes free, just to kill again like we see so many times; great… KEEP THROWING THEM OUT …you dumb a s s e s !

  14. Sandra Jackson Says:

    There was plenty of evidence to prove that this person killed my grandfather point blank. His accomplice testified to it. Maybe you should pull up his criminal record. He was released in November for robbery with a deadly weapon with no intent to kill, due to over crowding in the Florida prisons. He robbed my grandfather in May with a deadly weapon and killed!@!!!!!!! He was not a model prisoner, and was still released. If he had finsihed serving his time then my grandfather would still be alive today. I have every right to be angry. If you had walked a mile in my grandmothers shoes and my famlies you would be angry too!!!!!!!!

  15. Simon Says:

    …also if he’s not guilty… get him the hell-outta-there!!!

  16. Simon Says:

    Wow, Sandra… You will be in my prayers… ok, i retract my LAST comment… period.

  17. Sandra Jackson Says:

    Everyone has their opions and I have mine. But I researched his crimnal background and it started long before the murder of my grandfather. He assualted deputies in the courtroom during a pretrial hearing. This is a person that the only thing he knows is crime. Release him and he will do it again. His criminal record is public anybody can go on the internet type in his name and see what he has done with his life and chose a life of crime.

  18. VITO SPINELLI Says:

    THIS GUY IS GUILTY, THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IS PLAYING GAMES WITH THIS TRIAL. IT WAS CLEAR CASE OF PREMEDITADED MURDER AND ROBBERY. HE ALREADY HAD A HISTORY OF BEING A VIOLENT PERSON. HE HAS NO REMORSE.HE HAD A FAMILY MEMBER PURCHASE BULLETS FOR THE GUN BECAUSE HE HAD A BAD RECORD. HE TOLD MANY PEOPLE THAT IF OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS HAD BEEN PRESENT– THEY WOULD HAVE DIED TOO. THIS MAN IS A MURDERER AND HAS A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE FOR MANY YEARS.HE DESERVES THE DEATH PENALTY.

  19. patricia sanders Says:

    the people that make all these comments, about how he deserves a fair trial. what about what the family deserves. I sat though two trials already, every day I was their. Now I have to sat though another. He is just a tasty & mean person, when he says he doesn’t want to kill his self, he just want to kill other people. maybe all of you need to sat though the trial, you will have different thoughts then. yes I am angry, & mad. Because I have to do this again, I’m Jimmy’s daughter, I have been on that stand, I.m the one that has to , yes that was my dads, weather it was a card, glasses, or a picture of him laying in his shop. this is the third time, what about my mother, she should not have to go though this again. she is 89 years old. So you tell me what is fair.

  20. Chris H. Says:

    This is a reply to all!! and of course the family involved.

    Toy, Give us information we dont know and keep in mind if capital punishment was used as intended and performed in a timely manner we wouldnt need as many correction officers!! The crime rate would go DOWN. There would be real reprecutions for there actions!! I know officers, soldiers and parents of children in this world today, this includes me!!! Hes a career criminal no use to society “FRY HIM” keep him away from my inocent children and everyone elses as well!!!!

    Profiler, Even though I agree with your statement remember one thing! Money is the root of this crime, Simple robbery turned murder scene. If he lost his life and his family lost him over money!! lets spend a little to see this individual gone from society!!!!Money well spent…

    Fred Flabenoid, Hey fella WAKE UP!!!! I am pro death penalty and all for it would throw the switch if givin the oportunity!!! Why to keep people like you safe believe it or not. This man did it and will do it again if givin the chance. Tell your family member as Mr Tumblin presses a gun to there head your veiws on capital punishment!!! HHMMM you may change your mind but I bet I dont!!! Wake up sir look around this country isnt as safe as it used to be because of veiws alot like yours!! PS Thanks Jerk signed My Childrens future!!!!

    Real Deal, Well said reader thanks for not being as nieve as the last guy!!!

    Obiwan, First off the last trail proved it, its the technicalities that keep me and you in constant danger!!! As for the questions why wasnt he brought to justice and final resting place within 24 hrs of sentencing!! Its a clear cut case, what are we waiting for? to see the level of remorse when he pulled the trigger oh wait a minute he said himself he just wanted to kill other people.. Geuss that would mean there was no remorse. “ITS DEATH ROW STUPID” Well said sir.

    OH-NO, I do agree to disagree with Real deal on the looks like comment but I do understand what he means as well, However what does that have to do with the important issue A GOOD MAN DIED!!! Stay focused friend…

    Tom, Just go back to plunging your toilet! your not worth my time sir. Go watch the news and the stories of the murders ask yourself out of the Victim and the Criminal who deserved to die? I bet its the criminal!!!!Up and down sir and flush as you retract the plunger!!

    Simon, The Appology!!! My hats off to you sir, most would and will argue to prove a worthless point and no pain is felt by them. However there family has felt more than most of us can imagine. Even if you do not agree with my veiws nor me yours, you have my respect and others should learn from your example!! Thanks you sir!!

    Veto, Bravo!!!!! Well said sir.. He worked hard for the death penalty who are we to deny him the right to ride the lightning!!!! “Crowd Claps”

    To the family and all reading this, Mr Tumblin is clearly and unquestionably guilty why do we tolorate and support his behavior? Govenor Christ you have a job to protect the public and your family why grant this man another opportunity to kill your loved ones and ours? Put a stop to the trail and lets concentrate on his removal. The family has been run thru the mill there loved on is dead, the state, the attorneys and judges force them to relive this nightmare over and over!! Most see the victims and say rest in peice. God is providing for Jimmy John now let the family rest in piece!!! Let justice be done, the inoscent not to be victims of the system and stop letting the criminal run the show. Like I said he worked hard for capitol punishment!! Lets not deny him his reward Govenor!!!!!

  21. Juror Says:

    I sat on the jury. I listened to the case. He is guilty. I put my life on hold for around one month to see that justice would be served. I served when others walked because it was my duty. I had no bias. I did not want to see a man convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The evidence was there. He is guilty and a danger to society. I am sorry for the family and our community.

  22. Sandra Jackson Says:

    THANK YOU!!!!! Juror says!!!!!. You pprove my point. To everyone that has just read what is in the papers and what you have seen on TV, has no idea. Until you have all the facts and seen all the eveidence, including his past criminal record (which is public record, look it up) you can not cast stones at a family that has lost a husband, brother, father, grandfather, and friend. He is guilty period. And if he is set free, he will do it again, except this time it may be one of your family members! He knows no other way of life. He would rather rob, kill,and beat, to get a quick dollar than to get out and get a real job and be part of society. There is no reforming him. He did not learn his lesson from his other stays in the Florida prison systems, and apparently likes it there. He deserve everything he gets. To put him to death is not going to bring my grandfather back but, as long as he is alive, wasting good money sitting in a jail cell, there is always that chance that he will get out and do it again.

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