Setting The Record Straight

Gainesville Sun Perpetuates Myth of HB 7083’s Ability to Speed Up and Expand Execution Powers

Claim: “Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill this month that could make him the most active executioner in modern Florida history.”

1.) The bill does NOT speed up the execution process.

  • The bill makes technical amendments to current law and provides clarity and transparency to legal proceedings.

2.) The bill does NOT shorten the duration of the appeals process.

  • The bill does not address the time frame of appeals, but rather affirms appellate, and post conviction remedies, before the clemency process begins. Bottom line, before a death warrant is signed, the legislation mandates that an inmate must still go through a long and thorough review process.
  • It preserves and affirms the inmate’s existing rights to 1) a direct appeal, 2) a state post-conviction hearing; 3) a post-conviction appeal; 4) a federal habeas-corpus proceeding, and; 5) a federal habeas corpus appeal.

3.) The bill would NOT have resulted in the execution of inmates that would have been exonerated.

  • Not a single one of the 24 “exonerated” inmates identified by the Death Penalty Information Center would have been certified as eligible for a death warrant under the requirements of HB 7083, because none of them had exhausted their legal remedies.

4.) The bill will NOT lead to more executions, or takes away protections from inmates.

  • Nothing in this bill alters the current protections afforded by the courts or the clemency process and adds protections to inmates by removing ineffective counsel.

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