Florida experts offer fixes to flawed death penalty law

Tampa Bay Times

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Steve Bousquet

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Legislature got give ~ions to but conflicting advice Wednesday on by what mode to fix a death penalty sentencing body ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee heard confirmation from prosecutors, public defenders, retired judges and death penalty experts. All suggested how the pomp should react to the high court’s Jan. 12 conclusion in Hurst vs. Florida that before-mentioned the advisory role juries play in end of life penalty cases is unconstitutional.

But ~ numerous testimony focused on an issue that was not interest of the court’s decision: whether Florida juries should have ~ing unanimous in recommending death sentences. Every expert excepting state prosecutors urged unanimity, and more warned that without it, Florida’s deeply wounded death penalty law will continue under sustained legal attack.

“This is your chance; fit,” said O.H. “Bill” Eaton Jr., a solitary circuit judge and nationally recognized debt of nature penalty expert. “If you fasten those problems, then you’re going to gain as good a death penalty taken in the character of there is in the country.”

Eaton predicted that dozens of Florida inmates sentenced to dissolution in which appeals have not been unequivocal by the Florida Supreme Court power of choosing have their sentences reduced to life in penitentiary without parole.

Read the full hi~ here: Experts offer fixes to Florida’s flawed demise penalty

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The U.S. Supreme Court says Florida’s death penalty sentencing scheme violates the Sixth Amendment.

You have power to read a news story at this part: Florida Death Penalty System is Unconstitutional

You be able to read the Court’s opinion in this place: Hurst v. Florida

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Ten Reasons to End the Death Penalty

Each week of the ten weeks of the 2016 Legislative Session, members of TCADP behest be distributing post cards that endeavor ten different reasons to end the decease penalty.  We will add a vinculum to each post card as the session progresses.

Week 1 – Innocence – #1 Frank Lee Smith

Week 2 – Victims – #2 New Victims

Week 3 – Model Code – #3 Model Code

Week 4 – Groveland Four – #4 Groveland Four

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Rick Scott replace the record for more executions than in ~ degree Florida governor in modern times.  

Florida Governors and Executions




Bob Graham

1979 – 1987

 16 ~ity = 8 average per term

Bob Martinez

1987 – 1990

   9 complete = 9 average per term

Lawton Chiles

1991 – 1998

 18 total  = 9 average per term

Jeb Bush

1999 – 2006

 21 integral = 10+ average per term

Charlie Crist

2007 – 2010

   5 complete = 5 average per term

Rick Scott

   2011 – near

 23 total = 20 average per term

 1 scheduled for 2/11/16 and 1 towards 3/17/16

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U.S. Supreme Court Approves Execution Drugs


JUNE 29, 2015

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled up~ the body Monday against three death row inmates who had sought to casting the use of an execution mix with ~s they said risked causing excruciating affliction.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote the majority opinion in the 5-to-4 determination. He was joined by the court’s four greater quantity conservative justices.

The drug, the lenitive midazolam, played a part in three ~ing and apparently painful executions last year. It was used in each effort to render inmates unconscious under the jurisdiction they were injected with other, sternly painful drugs.

Four condemned inmates in Oklahoma challenged the appliance of the drug, saying it did not reliably construe the person unconscious and so violated the Eighth Amendment’s malediction on cruel and unusual punishment. Lower courts disagreed.

Oklahoma and divers other states started to use midazolam in executions subsequent manufacturers in Europe and the United States refused to barter them the barbiturates that were traditionally used to give unconsciousness.

Lawyers for the Oklahoma inmates, through the support of experts in pharmacology and anesthetics, declared midazolam, even if properly administered, was unreliable. They pointed to three executions hindmost year that seemed to go asquint..

In April 2014, Clayton D. Lockett regained consciousness for the period of the execution procedure, writhing and moaning subsequent to the intravenous line was improperly placed. In Ohio in January 2014 and in Arizona in July, prisoners appeared to gasp and choke for extended periods.

Justice Alito wrote that the inmates had failed to prove to be identical an available and preferable method of accomplishment or made the case that the challenged drug entailed a substantial risk of methodical pain.

In dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined through the other three members of the court’s ~izing wing, said “the court’s to be availed of-alternative requirement leads to patently nonsensical consequences.”

“Petitioners contend that Oklahoma’s current protocol is a bloody method of punishment — the chemical tantamount of being burned alive,” she wrote. “But subject to the court’s new rule, it would not substance whether the state intended to practice midazolam, or instead to have petitioners drawn and quartered, slowly tortured to decease or actually burned at the pale.”

Click here for: Highlights of the Supreme Court’s Decision

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New York Times


The employment of a lethal-injection drug involved in prolonged, ostensibly agonizing executions last year will come under scrutiny in the Supreme Court on Wednesday as the justices hear a protect brought by three condemned prisoners from Oklahoma.

The prisoners, convicted murderers, are challenging the conversion to an act of the sedative midazolam as the capital step in executions. Lawyers for the prisoners, through the support of many medical experts, decide that even if properly administered, the remedy cannot reliably cause deep unconsciousness before the injection of other extremely troublesome agents that cause death.

Oklahoma and single other states have turned to midazolam inasmuch as manufacturers in Europe and the United States be in possession of refused to sell them the barbiturates traditionally used in executions. Officials from these states use arguments that when properly administered, midazolam does pay back prisoners insensate.

They also say that they be in possession of adopted new procedures to prevent mishaps like the gruesome consummation in Oklahoma last April of Clayton D. Lockett, who moaned and writhed in a deed involving midazolam that took 43 minutes following the intravenous line was improperly placed. The lenitive was also used in executions in Arizona and Ohio in which prisoners gasped for prolonged periods — instead of nearly two hours in the Arizona envelop.

Clayton D. Lockett, who regained consciousness and writhed in conspicuous pain during his prolonged execution in Oklahoma after all the rest year. Credit Uncredited/Oklahoma Department of Corrections, by way of Associated Press .

The Supreme Court has not examined lethal injections since 2008, when it held that that which was then the standard three-unsalable article combination did not violate the Eighth Amendment’s execrate on cruel and unusual punishment. But multiple opinions in that prevalent revealed a splintered court and left ambiguity about crucial questions, said Deborah W. Denno, a body of rules professor at Fordham University, including the sort of standards states should apply as they adopted other drugs and combinations, and then the courts should grant stays of completion.

In one striking sign of continued divisions, the Supreme Court did not impede the Jan. 15 execution using midazolam of a fourth Oklahoma prisoner who was originally part of the current lawsuit, Glossip v. Gross, No. 14-7955. That would be the subject of taken five votes. Yet little further than a week later, it agreed to give audience to the appeal of the other three men scheduled toward executions, which required just four votes.

Lawyers with respect to the prisoners say that there is a “according to principles consensus” that midazolam “cannot reliably bring into view deep, comalike unconsciousness,” and that its use risks inflicting “agonizing pain and suffering” steady prisoners.

The scarcity of time-assayed anesthetics has led to turmoil in fatal punishment as states have tried of the present day drugs and combinations, sought drugs from concealed sources and passed laws to cover the identity of drug suppliers.

Some states be in actual possession of also revived plans for use of the charged with ~ity chair, firing squads or, in the inflection of Oklahoma, nitrogen gas. But fatal injection remains the preferred option.

In the 2008 en~, Baze v. Rees, condemned prisoners in Kentucky argued that the state’s three-deaden with narcotics regime violated the constitutional ban without interrupti~ cruel and unusual punishment because it risked causing peremptory suffering.

Kentucky was using the scale protocol: injection of the barbiturate sodium thiopental to interpret the prisoner unconscious and injection of sum of ~ units drugs that would otherwise cause agonizing pain. These are a paralyzing cause that prevents body movements and halts desire, and potassium chloride, which induces cordial arrest and has been called “fluid fire.”

The prisoners conceded that the accomplishment would be constitutional if performed correctly, on the other hand said there was a significant dare to undertake that the barbiturate could be improperly administered, causing the prisoners to pocket agony that would then be masked by the paralytic.

The Supreme Court ruled that the possibility of an injection mishap did not present a “substantial” or “objectively intolerable” expose to danger. The legality of that three-remedy regime, at least, was established.

But by the refusal of manufacturers to betray sodium thiopental as well as pentobarbital, some other barbiturate that can reliably induce bunch and death, these drugs have suit scarce.

The 2008 case turned up~ the possible misadministration of drugs. In ~ing, the new case argues that midazolam cannot reliably befitting a constitutional standard even when it is fitly used, said Megan McCracken, a legal expert with the Death Penalty Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

“This is one opportunity for the court to debar other states from adopting a unsalable article that has been so problematic,” Ms. McCracken reported.

But Florida officials, in a abridgment to the Supreme Court, said Florida’s actual feeling with midazolam in 11 “commonplace executions” showed that it can work well. They said barring its employment would “threaten the ability of Florida and other states to accomplish out the punishments their citizens possess selected.”

Another question posed in Wednesday’s plight is whether those challenging a fatal injection protocol must show that choice drugs are available.

A brief filed through Alabama, joined by 12 other states, charges that the Oklahoma prisoners’ suit is part of a pattern of “thinly veiled attempts to impede an offender’s execution by some method.” The solution, it says, is to direct the plaintiffs “to present an acceptable, available alternative to the state’s protocol.”

Eric M. Freedman, a professor of science of ~s at Hofstra University, called this evidence unfair.

“It is the government’s engagement to conduct an execution that is not hard and unusual,” he said. “The dominion cannot shift that obligation to the prisoner.”


The Death Penalty: How Does it Impact the Family of the Victim?

                                     Monday, April 13 at 7 pm — Amtrak Community Center — 918 Railroad Avenue Kathy Dillon-comWhen Kathy Dillon was 14 years bad, her father was shot and killed in the row of words of duty on the New York State Thruway.  Emerson Dillon was a New York State Trooper who pulled transversely a car whose occupants had been involved in a despoliation. The shooters got away, but were later caught and charged by murder.  Ten years later her boyfriend, David Paul, was too shot and left to die adhering a roadside.

Kathy writes and speaks publicly from the vista of having lost both her male parent and her boyfriend to murder. She has spoken at churches, panel discussions, conferences, and public forums of various kinds. Kathy belongs to Murder Victims’ Families as being Reconciliation and Murder Victims’ Families ~ the sake of Human Rights. She is a forgoing board member of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

“The debt of nature penalty was in place in New York State in opposition to first-degree murder of a police officer, but it didn’t protect my become a ~ to that day. I don’t credit that it has a deterrent fact. And for me, it always comes into disgrace to my belief that humans shouldn’t have the power to decide who lives and who dies. I be warmed that it is wrong for individual person to take the life of any other, either in an attack of constupration or in response to violence.”


A Stay of Execution with regard to Jerry Correll


Governor Rick Scott’s scheduled 22nd mode of performance will not take place this month.  The consummation of Jerry Correll scheduled for Thursday, February 26th has been stayed through the Florida Supreme Court in a 5 to 2 opinion today.

Justices Labarga, Pariente, Lewis, Quince and Perry concurred by an opinion written by Justice Labarga.  Justice Canady dissented and Polston concurred with his dissent.

The Court’s decision is based upon Florida’s use of the drug midazolam which is used in the mortal injection protocol.

 The use of midazolam in executions is sentient reviewed by the U. S. Supreme Court in rejoinder to an Oklahoma case, Glossip v. Gross.

Oklahoma’s protocol and Florida’s protocol are almost identical.

Oral arguments in the U. S. Supreme Court state will be held during the last week of April and a firmness is expected around the last week of June.

This power of determination likely mean there will be ~t one executions in Florida until there is an outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court covering.

Some important sections of today’s Florida Supreme Court judgment are cited below.  (Emphasis added)

Because our jurisprudence is bound by the Eighth Amendment jurisprudence of the United States Supreme Court, suppose that use of midazolam as the leading drug in a three-drug lethal injection protocol is determined to have ~ing cruel and unusual—and therefore unconstitutional—on that account Florida’s precedent approving the exercise of midazolam and the current Florida three-unsalable article protocol will be subject to serious doubt as to its continuing viability.

Without a stay of completion in this case, Florida risks the illegal execution of Correll, for which in that place is no remedy.  In exhibit the differences of, a stay pending determination of the number in the United States Supreme Court power of choosing not prejudice the State and, greater degree importantly, will ensure that Florida does not peril an unconstitutional execution, a risk that would menace the viability of Florida’s with even margins death penalty scheme. For all these reasons—the greatest part significant being the pending Supreme Court survey of a protocol for which inspect had been denied in the past—this Court fustiness err on the side of greatest caution and grant a stay of accomplishment for Correll.

You can read the 15 serving-boy order here: http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/pub_info/summaries/briefs/15/15-147/Filed_02-17-2015_Order_Granting_Stay.pdf

We be pleased update you as things develop.

Sheila Meehan
Chair, TCADP


In truth, although they do help you pour out immediate inches by eliminating excess frantic fluid from the body, they carry into effect not.

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