Exonerated Inmates: Florida Bill To Speed Up Executions Would Have Cost Us Our LivesSubmitted by JO4RP on Sat, 05/18/2013 - 12:04
Several exonerated men whose innocence of murder was proven years after they were sentenced to death are imploring Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) not to sign a Florida bill that would set automatic timelines for imposing the death penalty, and likely would have resulted in the execution of these and other innocent people.
The bill, known as the “Timely Justice Act,” was passed last month amid legislator sentiments that “timely justice” is more important than “guilt or innocence,” with one legislator saying, “Only God can judge. But we can sure set up the meeting.”
Now, as the deadline approaches for Gov. Scott to sign the bill, former inmates who escaped the death penalty are coming forward to demonstrate the extraordinary costs of the law’s passage, in a state with the highest number of exonerations, and more people on death row than any state but California.
“If Governor Scott would just sit with me and others like me, I know he will veto this bill that, if it had been law, would have ended my life – I am innocent,” said Seth Penalver, who sat on death row for 18 years before exonerating evidence emerged. “If he signs this bill into law, I fear other people who are innocent like me, will be unjustly executed by the State of Florida.”