The Sunday Tampa Tribune published the editorial, "Death penalty law legal but falls short."
The average time for Florida’s death row inmates to await execution is 13 years, below the national average. Rather than focus simply on ways to legislate a shorter wait time, the state also should address the startling number of faulty convictions.
An American Bar Association review from 2006 called upon the state to create independent commissions to examine the causes of wrongful convictions, to better compensate attorneys for the accused and to bring Florida in line with other states by requiring that jury recommendations for death be unanimous, rather than a simple majority. The review found glaring racial, socioeconomic and geographical disparities in death sentences.
So far, the state hasn’t moved to address the more pressing issues surrounding its flawed death penalty process. This neglect can contribute to the legal delays in executions.
The Supreme Court got it right. The Timely Justice Act is constitutional, and largely inconsequential. State lawmakers have more work to do to strengthen the death penalty and justice in Florida.