News From Florida’s Death Row

Letters: How to Fix Florida’s Death Penalty Law: Floridians Against the Death Penalty members are launching a letter writing campaign to both newspapers and Gov. Scott to try to capitalize on the momentum of recent events such as Connecticut abolishing the death penalty and the study released about Carlos DeLuna. This is a letter from another of their members.

Bold Change Needed to Reduce Wrongful Convictions: In this editorial by the Tampa Bay Times staff, they argue for stronger statements from the Florida Innocence Commission, which was created to “provide a mechanism to recommend to the Supreme Court of Florida solutions to eliminate or significantly reduce the causes for wrongful or erroneous convictions.” However, thus far it seems the Commission has been more for show than anything else, as they lack the ability to enact any changes from their research. The most the Commission can do is make recommendations to the legislature, which may or may not pass.

Trial to Start for Putnam Escapee Accused of Murder: Jury selection started last week for the latest capital trial in Florida. Timothy Fletcher, 28, of Welaka, faces the death penalty in connection with his April 2009 escape and strangulation of his step-grandmother, 66-year-old Helen Key Googe.

British Parliament Member to Visit Florida Death Row: A member of British Parliament who is in favor of bringing back capital punishment in the UK will be visiting Florida’s death row this week. Shipley MP Philip Davies, who wants murderers to face the death penalty or be locked up for a whole-life jail sentence, will accompany the BBC to Florida as it makes a documentary on capital punishment. Mr Davies said: “I want to go, not just to see Death Row and speak to people on both sides of the argument, but also to look at the American prison system. I believe we have a great deal to learn from them.”

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