TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Jacksonville man on death row for the 2006 murder of an 8-year-old girl is appealing his sentence in the Florida Supreme Court this morning, seeking a new trial.
29-year-old Rasheem Dubose and his two brothers fired 23 shots into a Northwest Jacksonville home and 8-year-old Dreshawna Davis died protecting her cousins from the hail of bullets. This was all in retaliation because Davis' uncle had robbed Dubose at gunpoint and made him drop his pants in the street earlier that day. Shortly after her murder the Jacksonville Journey anti-crime initiative was launched. Her death is credited with being the spark for the Jacksonville Journey anti-crime initiative.
WOKV got ahold of the appeal brief Rasheem Dubose's attorneys submitted. In it, they're arguing nine reasons why Dubose deserves a new trial, among them that a judge shouldn't have denied a motion to change the trial's venue because of the publicity it generated. Another point argues that
They also say that evidence was insufficient to support the first-degree murder conviction and that a death sentence isn't appropriate based on the heinousness of the crime. Dubose's brothers were also convicted of first-degree murder but they only received life sentences. The state believed that Rasheem was the ringleader of the murder despite his brothers' participation and that he deserved a harsher punishment than them.
The death penalty is usually reserved for particularly cruel or heinous crimes, such as one in which the criminal takes pleasure in inflicting pain or causing death. Florida law states that the death penalty is reserved "for the most aggravated and unmitigated and most serious crimes." The attorneys argue that Dubose and his brothers didn't know there were children in the home at the time and did not go there that day with the intention of killing anyone, let alone a child. They say because of that, first-degree murder is not an appropriate conviction.
The appeal is expected to take several months and Dubose will remain on death row until the Supreme Court issues its opinion.
Click on the link to the left to read the full appeal brief for Rasheem Dubose.