Florida Makes an Effort to Match Texas’ Execution Record

 

1-4-10+Rick+Scott+speech+smallFlorida Governor Rick Scott, is jealous of Texas governor Rick Perry.  Florida is not executing a satisfactory number of prisoners, at a rate that might make them number one.  And, despite warnings that a number of innocent men and women might be wrongly put to death, Scott basically said ‘so what.’  His goal is to match or exceed Texas’ death record.

HB 7083, called for reduced time limits on appeals and motions, and requires court action on cases that have lengthy delays.  In addition, lawyers deemed ineffective would be barred from handling death penalty cases for as long as five years.

In addition, the governor must be notified when the appeals process has reached its limit.  After minimal clemency proceedings, the governor will sign the execution warrant.

“The bill does not increase the risk of execution of persons who did not commit murder,” Scott wrote in transmitting the legislation to Secretary of State Ken Detzner for recording. “In fact, it places additional protections for death-sentenced persons.”  (Did I read that correctly?)

This bill could make Scott the greatest modern executioner of all time.

Proponents of “the Timely Justice Act,” praise the new requirements.  Once the state Supreme Court declares that a candidate has exhausted his appeals, the governor must sign a death warrant within 30 days.  The inmate must then be put to death within six months.

The bill passed easily in both houses, which are controlled by Republicans.  The governor is given a large amount of the authority for carrying out the executions once the clemency options are eliminated.  Scott has already eagerly begun preparations for 13 of the 404 death row inmates who fit the requirements.

If Scott succeeds in his ambitions, he will have executed 21 murderers since he took office in January 2011. The only other recent governor who executed that many people was former Gov. Jeb Bush, who ordered the execution of 21 convicted killers but did it over an eight-year period.

It must be noted here that nearly all 13 inmates who face death are minorities.  Another ‘blood thirsty’ Republican governor seeks to be the ‘Lord high executioner’.

It doesn’t matter which side of the death penalty the people of the United States are on.  The fact is, if one man or woman is wrongly executed, it makes us a nation whose elected officials place themselves above the law.  It proves that America has become a self-righteous country which lacks compassion and an affinity for equal and fair treatment under the law.  We are returning to the days of southern rule, and the policy of lynching men for an assumed crime.

The other aspect of Florida’s cruel and unusual punishment addendum is the fact that it costs more money to convict someone and apply the death penalty than it does to proffer a sentence of life imprisonment.  Appeals can last for many years, and cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars.  It is logical to assume that Scott is a so called ‘fiscal conservative,’ who is making an attempt to reduce his state’s expenses.

Or, maybe he is a racist, and seeks to surpass Texas as the state which produces the greatest number of executions.

Alfred James reporting

Op-ed

 

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