Gov. Rick Scott’s signing of a bill to shorten the death-penalty appeals process can only court the execution of the innocent. Execution, the most grievous and irreversible of penalties, should be abolished.
But until that happens, we should not hurry the appellate process that has led to 24 exonerations in Florida of those sentenced to death, more than in any other state.
The members of Amnesty International grieve for the victims of murder, but believe that life in prison without possibility of parole, the only other sentence allowed in Florida for first-degree murder, is an approach that punishes the guilty while maintaining the possibility of correcting a mistaken verdict.
Far better that Florida should lead the nation in protecting human rights than in false convictions and, inevitably, the execution of the innocent.
Steven Wetstein, Amnesty International, Miami chapter, Miami