Death Penalty: Florida officially overhauled after US Supreme Court struck it down

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After the United States Supreme Court’s decision, and in the outcome of nearly Four Hundred death row inmates in Florida hangs in the balance after Governor Rick Scott signed a bill into law on Yesterday, i.e. on Monday, 7th March, which is changing ‘the way the State will carry out death penalty cases’. As per the decision of the United States Supreme Court, the Florida’s death penalty law is to strike down on the basis that it is unconstitutional for judging alone, and without the input of juries, for imposing the sentences. It was also pointed that the Juries were having only advisory role in the recommending a death sentence. Thus, the decision which was brought out from the US Supreme Court has stopped the state from carrying out executions.

However, now as per the newly revised law of Florida, the death penalties can no longer be imposed by judges, when the jurors are not recommending the same. As per said law, the number of at least Ten jurors out of Twelve jurors are now required to recommend the execution in order for carrying out such execution. The Republican Governor who stated in his statements, that the upholding of the laws of Florida is his solemn duty and also his foremost concern is always for the victims and their loved ones. Thus, he stated to have hope that the present Legislation will allow families of these horrific crimes to get the closure they deserve.

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US Supreme Court ruled in the month of January, and it was came in an eight- to- one opinion, with the Justice- Sonia Sotomayor writing for the majority that the law was inconsistent with the requirement of jury delineated by the Sixth Amendment. Moreover, she wrote to the effect that the mere recommendations from a Jury are not enough, and also she said that the verdict of Jury is not a fact findings by the Judges.

Also, the Death Penalty Centre Executive Director- Robert Dunhan told to MSNBC that the inmates currently on death row may face execution under the new state law and now the alternative would be for those cases to be retried and the sentences lowered to life without parole.

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Adv. Faim Khalilkhan Pathan

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