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Death sentence appeal rejected by Florida Supreme Court

The Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee. (Fresh Take Florida file photo)
The Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee. (Fresh Take Florida file photo)

The Florida Supreme Courtrejected the appeal of an inmate convicted of first degree murder in 1994.

Floyd Damren, 72, challenged his death sentence after being diagnosed with autism and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Damren was sentenced to death after he beat an R.G.C. Mineral Sands employee with a steel pipe in Clay County, according to court records.

He argued that if a jury heard the diagnosis, his sentence might have been reduced to life in prison.

He said his autism and PTSD combined with his use of alcohol the night of the murder would’ve offered the judge and jury proof that he could not behave morally, and his conduct was impaired, according to court records.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld the lower-court’s decision and said his claims were “facially insufficient and untimely.”

They were untimely because the claims were made over one year after his conviction and sentence became final. Damren said he was an exception to the one-year rule because autism wasn’t recognized in adults at the time of his 1995 trial.

He also argued his PTSD was undiagnosed because it was “masked” by his undiagnosed autism, according to the court’s opinion.

Since his doctor informed counsel he has autism and PTSD on June 10, 2021 and his claims were filed June 10, 2022, the one-year rule was followed, he said.

He argued his diagnoses couldn't have happened before June 2021 because his autism was only diagnosed by “chance” since his doctor was replaced by a different doctor.

“We disagree,” wrote the court.

Alexa is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing