The week began with 405 inmates on Florida’s death row. A first ever report required by death penalty legislation says 141 of them have exhausted their appeals. The next step says the Governor’s attorney, is the clemency process.
Sot: Pete Antonacci, the Governor’s Legal Counsel, said, "Usually a clemency investigation will take around six months."
This list represents a third of all the inmates on death row and it's got so large because each of these Governors has tried to push the process forward.
Mark Schlakman of the Center for the Advancement of Human Rights handled death cases for then Lawton Chiles in the 1990’s. He says the system can’t handle a flood of new clemency cases or death warrants. He and others are calling for a complete review of the system.
Sot: Mark Schlakman with the FSU Center for the Advancement of Human Rights said, “The underlying issues, just a few of many that the AVA report in 2006 identified."
Florida’s Catholic Bishops continue to call for an end to the ultimate punishment
"I think that there is a growing recognition that a state can protect its citizens and punish its criminals, those who perpetrate great crimes, by resorting to use of life without the possibility of parole," said Michael Sheedy.
Governor Rick Scott has executed ten inmates since taking office. Two more executions are pending.
A total of 79 inmates have been executed since the state resumed capital punishment in 1979. Both the American Bar Association and the Florida Bar have called for a comprehensive review of the state’s death penalty.