In this video update, Executive Director Seth Miller provides a summary of several bills that will be addressed during the 2012 Florida legislative session. Seth also gives information about two upcoming Innocence Project of Florida events.
Four bills, all dealing with the death penalty, will be looked at during this legislative session. Three bills deal with the way the juries decide on giving the death penalty. Senate Bill 772, sponsored by Senator Thad Altman, Senate Bill 352, sponsored by Senator Oscar Braynon, and House Bill 29, sponsored by Representative John Patrick Julien all seek to require a unanimous decision by the jury to send someone to death row. Currently, Florida is the only state in the nation that allows people to be sent to death row with a simple majority vote. Someone convicted of a capitol offense can be executed with a vote of 7 to 5. The three above bills would change that and bring us in line with other states and make the justice system more fair.
While the Innocence Project of Florida does not take an official stance on the death penalty, we hope that you will call your senators and representatives and encourage them to support these bills. In a system that so often gets it wrong giving the death penalty by simple majority is risky.
The Innocence Project of Florida also has some exciting events coming up in the next several months. On January 19 from 2-4 p.m. Seth and one of our exonorees, Alan Crotzer, will be at the Selby Library in Sarasota, FL, speaking about the Innocence Project of Florida and Alan’s experiences. On April 26 the Innocence Project will hold Steppin’ Out with the Innocence Project of Florida, its first annual gala. The gala will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami, and will honor IPF’s exonorees and several other special guests. More information is here.