Florida Supreme Court justice steps down Friday

Florida Supreme Court Justice James Perry reaches mandatory retirement age

(Photo courtesy of Florida Supreme Court)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Supreme Court Justice James Perry has reached his final day in office.

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Perry is stepping down Friday because he has reached the mandatory retirement age for justices.

Perry was appointed by then-Gov. Charlie Crist to the court in 2009. He was the fourth black justice appointed to the court.

During his tenure, he was part of a group of justices that has issued rulings that angered the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott.

Perry last week issued a lengthy dissent that asserted the state had applied the death penalty in a "biased and discriminatory fashion" and that there was no way it could be carried out in a constitutional manner.

Scott earlier this month appointed Charles Alan Lawson, the chief judge of the 5th District Court of Appeal, to replace Perry.