Photo Source : http://www.langleycreations.com/photo/deathpenalty/graham-protests/
What do diligent Christians and ex-prison inmates have in common that would bring them together in the state of Florida? The answer is their strong opposition to the death penalty. Over the past two years, Florida has claimed the number one spot for enforcing capital punishment, after having sentenced 21 convicted criminals to death by lethal injection or electric chair in 2012. The state of Delaware on the other hand, which also supports the death penalty and shares the same approximate population as Florida, has sentenced just one inmate to death row in the past two years. From the viewpoint of many protestors, the numbers just don’t add up. Other protestors feel discouraged by what appears to be county based bias on the part of the Florida justice system.
Death by County
Many protestors maintain the opinion that the death penalty is only utilized on criminals hailing from specific sections of the state. They believe the state of Florida is enforcing county based bias, and statistics on this topic support their view. Is it possible that criminal offenders are being punished for their zip codes, or are certain county representatives more skilled in the art of criminal defense? Criminal defense attorneys range in their level of expertise, however the problem could rest upon the shoulders of public defenders in situations where defendants fail to hire adequate legal counsel.
Palm Beach County, Florida residents have not had an inmate sentenced to death row in over 13 years. Fort Lauderdale inmates on the other hand, maintain much harsher sentencing. This statistic has divided protestors into two slightly different belief systems. There are those who are opposed to the death penalty in general, and others who oppose the seemingly unequal execution of Florida inmates. In the end, they gather together before the Florida jail with an almost common goal.
Exonerated Inmates Get Involved
Two exonerated inmates argue that forensic science could prove the innocence of a number of death row inmates, who won’t have the opportunity to have their cases reexamined if they are executed prior to a retrial. New methods conducted by forensic science have definitely been useful in proving the innocence of a number of convicts on death row in recent years. A new bill labeled “The Timely Justice Act” could prove fatal for innocent death row inmates if passed in the state of Florida.
Protestors Include the Designer of the Lethal Injection Drug Pentobarbitol
Staffan Schuberg, president of the company that invented Florida’s new lethal injection cocktail says the drug is not fit for execution. He claims that the previously untested anesthetic medicine could cause excruciating suffering during executions. Schuberg and his supporters comprise a different type of protestors as well. Some of them support the death penalty, but oppose the use of lethal injections, claiming that administering lethal doses is an inhumane way to execute criminals. Varying opinions on the types of drugs that should and should not be permitted are also apparent.
The Laws on Trial in the Sunshine State
There are many laws on trial in the state of Florida. From “Stand Your Ground” to “The Timely Justice Act”. The future of these statutes will determine the next direction for criminal defense attorneys across the state. Until then, picket signs in prison yards is a sight Floridians might have to come accustomed to.
About The Author :
Michael D. Leader is a criminal lawyer with Fort Lauderdale law firm Leader & Leader P.A. Specializing in all forms of criminal law, Michael Leader and partner George Leader offer years of legal experience and a commitment to ethics.