Dorothy Singer vs. State of Florida
This unanimous decision allowed Singer a new trial based on the argument that the trial court denied her due process. The ruling reads:
“Based on counsel’s limited experience with DNA cases and lack of familiarity with FDLE’s current procedures, combined with the complexity of the expert report at issue here, we conclude that 12 days was wholly inadequate to prepare for trial.”
The Court finds that the trial court's denial of an extension very likely caused prejudice against Singer. If given more time to react to last minute evidence, Singer's entire defense might have changed. Her lawyer could have gotten his own expert. In addition, there was an expected delay in getting the State's expert witness' notes. This limited the preparation time for the witness' deposition. The State had agreed the Defense should get more time, but the trial judge rejected the request.
Dorothy Singer was convicted of 1st degree murder. She shot her husband multiple times with a firearm, killed him, then covered up his death. Defense argued she was in fear for her life and defended herself during a physical altercation. In her original trial, the trial court did not allow a time extension when the State disclosed new DNA evidence shortly before trial.