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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Sep. 28, 201612:00 PM EST

Florida Supreme Court rejects investigation into allegations against Circuit Judge Mark Hulsey

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The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a request for an investigation into allegations of racism involving a Duval County circuit judge who sentenced an African-American man to death.

Martin McClain, an attorney for Death Row inmate Terrance Phillips, filed a motion last month to “get the facts” about highly publicized allegations against Circuit Judge Mark Hulsey, who sentenced Phillips to death in 2012 for the murders of two people.

McClain argued that the allegations of racism created questions about Hulsey’s impartiality in handling Phillips’ case.

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office objected to McClain’s request, describing it as a “fishing expedition.”

The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied McClain’s motion, citing an ongoing inquiry by the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission into the allegations against Hulsey, according to an online docket in Phillips’ case.

The commission in July filed a notice of formal charges against Hulsey for alleged racist and sexist comments, including an allegation that he once said blacks should “go back to Africa.”

Hulsey has denied the allegations.

The commission is scheduled to hold a hearing Feb. 6.

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