Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Florida - An Arbitrary and Capricious Death Penalty System

The Number of Executions

The information and conclusions contained in the ABA Report make clear that Florida`s death penalty scheme has failed to satisfy the Furman mandate.

Florida`s capital sentencing is still arbitrary and capricious.

Since 1972, Florida has carried out a total of 61 executions; while between 1972 and 1999, there were 857 defendants sentenced to death (obviously since 1999, there have been more death sentences imposed). ABA Report on Florida at 7. Statistics of the number of individuals who committed murder during that time has not been recorded.

Nevertheless, it is clear that few death sentences that are imposed are actually carried out.

Undoubtedly, the percentage of murderers in Florida actually executed since 1972 is minuscule. Furman, 408 U.S. at 293 (Brennan, J., concurring) (Ait smacks of little more than a lottery system@); Id. at 309 (Stewart, J., concurring) (A[t]hese death sentences are cruel and unusual in the same way that being struck by lightning is cruel and unusual@); Id. at 313 (White, J., concurring) (Athere is no meaningful basis for distinguishing the few cases in which it is imposed from the many cases in which it is not@).

The ABA Report on Florida demonstrates the same flaws and defects condemned in the Furman once again infect Florida's capital sentencing scheme.

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