Associated Press

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The Florida Supreme Court is ordering new sentencing hearings for four inmates currently on the state's death row.

The high court on Thursday threw out the sentences because a jury did not unanimously recommend the death penalty. Last year the court ruled death sentences have to be unanimous, which the court put in place in response to U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

 

The state court said anyone sentenced after a 2002 ruling could be eligible for a new sentence.

A mass bleaching of coral reefs worldwide is finally easing after three years, U.S. scientists announced Monday.

About three-quarters of the world's delicate coral reefs were damaged or killed by hot water in what scientists say was the largest coral catastrophe.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a global bleaching event in May 2014. It was worse than previous global bleaching events in 1998 and 2010.

HAVANA — Cuba is starting an electoral process that is expected to end with President Raul Castro stepping down in February.

The Council of State says in Wednesday's state media that voting for municipal assemblies will take place on Oct. 22. It doesn't set the date of voting for the country's parliament, which selects the Council of State and the president. Elections are held every five years.

Castro has said he'll step down as president in February, although he is expected to remain head of the ruling Communist Party.

Legislation to enact Florida's medical marijuana constitutional amendment is headed to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott.

The Senate and House approved the bill during Friday's final day of the special session. The House passed it 108-9 before the Senate voted 29-6.

Both chambers reached agreement on Wednesday that there would be a cap of 25 dispensaries per medical marijuana treatment center and that there wouldn't be a sales tax. The bill still bans smoking despite amendment supporters saying it is written into the language.

The Supreme Court has left in place a lower court ruling that said imposing a death sentence in Florida requires a unanimous jury.

The justices on Monday turned away an appeal from Florida officials seeking to overturn the ruling last year from the state’s highest court.

The Florida Supreme Court had struck down a newly enacted law allowing a defendant to be sentenced to death as long as 10 out of 12 jurors recommend it. That ruling concluded that Timothy Lee Hurst — convicted of a 1998 murder at a Pensacola Popeye’s restaurant— deserves a new sentencing hearing.

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