The Future of the Death Penalty in Florida
The death penalty, also known as capital punishment, is the execution of a convicted s as a form of reprimand for atrocious crimes such as mass murders, kidnapping, and aggravated child abuse cases, among others. Regardless of being one of the most robust forms of punishment, 60% of the world’s populace still exercises the death penalty. Most of the United States states still practice capital punishment as a form of reprimand for vicious crimes, and to date, there are inmates still condemned in the prisons’ death row, awaiting their execution. According to statistics, 29 United States states still practice the death penalty, Florida being among them, and ranked second among the states with the highest executions through capital punishment (Seeds, 2018).
Policymakers have and continue to work tirelessly to amend the policies revolving around the death sentence in Florida. Fundamentally, capital punishment has undergone several amendments and ratifications. In March 2017, the Florida legislature passed a new statute whereby the jury decided the death sentence fate. In cases where ten jurors were in favor of the death penalty, then an execution occurred, whereas if less than ten jurors were in favor, a life sentence was imposed (Bohm, 2017). This has been one of the greatest reforms compared to when the decision was solely left to one individual, the judge. As an s result of these amendments, many death row cases have been reverted to life sentences that have been the greatest relief to the families of the victims.
The fight against the abolition of the death sentence is far from over. The death penalty had initially been abolished following a declaration by the US Supreme Court; however, it did not last for long as it was reinstated six months later. Since 1979, Florida has executed 99 prisoners with 339 others who will await the death row units’ execution in Florida’s correctional facilities. The death penalty is actively effective in Florida, with a recent execution carried out in 2019. Florida Department of Corrections (2019, 15 June).This indicates that more needs to be done by both the policymakers and the citizens to close on the gap and finally abolish the death sentence. The policymakers will highly influence the future of capital punishment.
Moreover, the cost of death penalty cases is causing the tax payers’ financial burden compared to life imprisonment with no parole. The appeal process is costly compared to an overall verdict because the defendant is entitled to an attorney at the state’s expense (Radelet, 2017). Citizens, however, should not commit atrocious crimes as this will further the possibility of a successful death penalty-free jurisdictions. Florida Death Penalty is soon becoming a thought in the past as more defendants in the death row are receiving new sentencing hearing following the new jury impaneled (Bohm, 2017). With their unanimous decisions, will spare the lives of convicts that have since reformed. Moving forward, citizens should adhere to the laws and uphold the constitution to make the policymakers less cumbersome as they fight to abolish the use of capital punishment in Florida.
Florida has made immense progress in the matters death penalty; the future is promising. Policymakers are working hard to abolish the death penalty, but this is a communal responsibility. The citizens have a task to ensure they uphold the laws and avoid getting caught up on the law’s wrong side. With the reductions in the number of executions over the decades, it is a clear indication of a possibility of zero executions in the years to come. Policymakers are pushing for more; many more amendments and bills are yet to be passed in the future in the wake of ending the death penalty in Florida and other American states.
Bohm, R. M. (Ed.). (2017). The death penalty today. CRC Press.
Radelet, M., & Cohen, G. B. (2017). The predictable disarray: ignoring the jury in Florida death penalty cases. Available at SSRN 2906342.
Florida Department of Corrections. “Execution List – Florida Department of Corrections.” Dc.state.fl.us. (Accessed 18 July 2020)
Seeds, C. (2018). Disaggregating LWOP: Life without parole, capital punishment, and mass incarceration in Florida, 1972–1995. Law & Society Review, 52(1), 172-205.