Court Rejects Appeal of Fla. Death Row Inmate

ATLANTA (AP) - The federal appeals court in Atlanta has rejected
an appeal by Florida death-row inmate Bruce Douglas Pace, convicted
of the shotgun killing of a taxi-driver friend during a robbery of
his cab 20 years ago.

Seventy-year-old Floyd Covington, described as like an uncle to the 29-year-old Pace, was slain in Bagdad, Fla., in Santa Rosa County in November 1988.

Among other issues, Pace claimed ineffective assistance of counsel, saying his lawyer should have used his crack cocaine addiction as a mitigating factor during the trial's penalty phase.

Other courts supported the lawyer's strategy of depicting Pace as a good person who helped and supported his family rather than as a crack addict. A panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals found
no reason Tuesday to overturn the decisions.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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