Changing the death penalty of Florida
1 of every 4 death sentences handed out nationally in 2012 was in Florida,
which is 1 of only 2 states with the death penalty that doesn't require a
unanimous jury verdict.
At least 1 state lawmaker wants to make it harder for judges to hand out death
Tampa cop killer Humberto Delgado arrived on death row last year after his jury
recommended he be put to death by an 8 to 4 vote. In December, William Davis'
jury split 7-5 even though he had asked them for death.
Neither man would have received death in any of the other 32 states that have
the death penalty.
That's because 31 other states require all members of the jury to vote for
The 32nd Alabama requires at least 10 of the 12 jurors to say someone should
Sheila Hopkins of the Florida Catholic Conference says it is time for Florida
to join the rest of the nation.
"You know I think people should be very concerned and disturbed that
potentially people who can be innocent would be given a death sentence".
State Attorney Willie Meggs currently has seven people on death row. He says
the legislation would change the way he picks a jury making him select only
death penalty supporters, but he says it would not change the eventual outcome.
"I don' t believe that Florida has executed an innocent person in our history".
There are currently 407 people on Florida's death row; that includes 5 women.
Of the 22 death sentences handed down in Florida last year only 6 were
recommended by unanimous juries.
State Senator Thad Altman of Brevard County has filed legislation to require
the sentences be unanimous.
He also wants juries to sign a form stating why they think death is
(source: WEAR TV News)