Letter To Florida Governor Rick Scott: 10 Reasons To Abolish Death Penalty
By Mary Hamer
13 December, 2012
Dear Florida Governor Rick Scott:
*I present to you 10 Reasons to Abolish the Death Penalty in Florida :
#1. The FLORIDA DEATH PENALTY is UNCONSTITUTIONAL:
Judge Jose Martinez with the “ US District Court for the Southern District of Florida ruled (in 2011) that Florida 's procedure for imposing the death penalty is Unconstitutional.” “Judge Jose Martinez found that the method by which a death sentence is imposed in Florida violates the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial because the jury should be making these findings, not the judge”. “ The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida (ACLUFL) applauded the decision : (& stated in a Press Release):
“This is yet another sign of the systematic injustices that make up Florida 's death penalty system—which is already plagued by wrongful convictions, racial inequities, the highest rate of exonerations and inadequate legal representation. ... It is past time to end state-sponsored executions and replace the unfair, unjust, and unconstitutional death penalty system with mandatory life in prison.” (1)
# 2. BOTCHED FLORIDA EXECUTION: ANGEL DIAZ.
“On December 13th, 2006, Angel Diaz was executed by the State of Florida.”
Execution : “Lethal injection executions generally end within 15 minutes, with the inmate unconscious after the first 3-5 minutes; Diaz' took 34, and he was conscious for at least the first 25. A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Corrections initially claimed that Diaz felt no pain during the execution, but a coroner's investigation (contradicted) that claim.” What Went Wrong: “Lethal injection ordinarily begins with the intravenous injection of pentothol, which purportedly brings about a coma and makes the effects of later drugs painless. The trouble is that the needle went through Diaz' vein and into soft tissue deep in his arm, making the injection itself excruciating and possibly preventing the pentothol from taking effect. Tortured to Death: “Eyewitness reports indicate that Diaz was still moving and attempting to speak (or, perhaps, scream) more than twenty minutes into the execution, suggesting that he was still conscious and in pain. … His death was almost certainly slow and excruciatingly painful--and with his body frozen by the pavulon, he would have had no way of expressing that pain.” (2)
#3. The DEATH PENALTY is EXPENSIVE for FLORIDA TAXPAYERS:
“What is the price for Vengeance on society's worst killers?” “Florida would save $51 Million each year by punishing all first-degree murderers with life in prison without parole” – rather than punishing these offenders with the Death Penalty.” (3) “The death penalty is much more expensive than life without parole because the Constitution requires a long and complex judicial process for capital cases.” (4)
#4. The FLORIDA DEATH PENALTY is IMMORAL & UNETHICAL:
The Death Penalty is an act of First Degree Pre-Meditated Murder with Malice by the Florida Justice system – whether it be by Lethal injection or the Electric Chair. (5)
#5. The DEATH PENALTY does NOT Deter Murder.
“87% percent of the country's top criminologists do not believe the death penalty acts as a deterrent to homicide.” The “ Consensus among criminologists is that the death penalty does not add any significant deterrent effect above that of long-term imprisonment.” (6)
#6. The DEATH PENALTY is for POOR PEOPLE & MINORITIES.
“Death sentences are imposed in a criminal justice system that treats you better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent.” “The legacy of racial apartheid, racial bias, and ethnic discrimination is unavoidably evident in the administration of capital punishment in America .” (7)
#7. FLORIDA is the NATIONWIDE LEADER in WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS:
” Florida is the nationwide leader in wrongful convictions (for death penalty cases) with 23 death row inmates exonerated since 1973. This dubious honor led the Florida Supreme Court to create the Innocence Commission in 2009, which was ordered ‘To conduct a comprehensive study of the causes of wrongful conviction & of measures to prevent such convictions.' Given the poor track record of the state's justice system, it would seem that capital punishment – a contentious moral issues … -- could benefit from serious reconsideration.” (8) The main causes of Wrongful Convictions & Factors which deny defendants to the Right to Due Process & a Fair Trial are: Government Misconduct (Police, Prosecutorial & Judicial), Bad Lawyering, Faulty Scientific Evidence, Eyewitness Errors/Perjury, False Confessions & Jailhouse informants/Snitch Testimony. (9)
#8. The DEATH PENALTY is a BIBLICAL EYE for an EYE.
The Florida Justice system committing Murder -- to punish a defendant for Murder -- is illogical, irrational & a form of Caveman revenge. i.e. TWO WRONGS do NOT Make a RIGHT.
#9. FLORIDA 'S DEATH PENALTY is Against WORLD Trends.
*A. Amnesty International states “The World is Moving Towards Abolition (of the Death Penalty): “International death penalty trends are unmistakably towards abolition. Use of the death penalty worldwide has continued to shrink, and use of the death penalty has also been increasingly curtailed in international law. Since 1990, an average of three countries each year have abolished the death penalty, and today over two-thirds of the world's nations have ended capital punishment in law or practice.” (10)
*B. LIFE in PRISON without PAROLE: “ For the crime of murder, 52% of Americans now support Life in Prison without Parole vs. 48% for the Death Penalty.” (11)
*C. e.g. CONNECTICUT 's Abolition of the Death Penalty: “Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has signed legislation into law that abolishes Connecticut 's death penalty for future crimes.” “Malloy called it ‘an historic moment' as Connecticut joins 16 other states that have abolished capital punishment.” (12)
#10. FLORIDA 'S DEATH PENALTY VIOLATES International HUMAN RIGHTS Policies:
*A. The UNITED NATIONS Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: Article #3 . “ Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” & Article #5. “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment. (13) The Dealth Penalty not only denies a person life as a form of cruel, inhumane & degrading punishment – But it is rises to the level of barbaric, savage & sadistic criminal behavior of the society that in a pre-meditated, willful & malicious way executes this violent act.
*B. The AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION states: “When the government metes out vengeance disguised as justice, it becomes complicit with killers in devaluing human life and human dignity.” (14)
*CONCLUSION: To Florida Governor Rick Scott: Please Abolish the Death Penalty in Florida – based on the 10 claims presented in this paper & in the name of human dignity. As best paraphrased from the ACLU: The Florida Justice system is carrying out vengeance disguised as justice with the Death Penalty. The Florida Justice system is complicit with killers in supporting the Death Penalty & devaluing human life & human dignity. Please Florida Governor Scott show the world that Florida has the courage to respect human life & rehabilitate it -- rather than to lethally inject or electrocute it.
Thank you. Respectfully, Mary Hamer, M.D. Florida .
1.jurist.org/.../ federal - judge - rules - florida - death - sentence - policy - ... Federal Judge Rules Florida Death Sentence Policy Unconstitutional. By Erin Bock. June 23, 2011 .
2. The Execution of Angel Nieves Diaz . By Tom Head.
3. www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=108 . The High Price of Killing Killers. By S.V. Palm Beach Post. January 4, 2000 .
6. www. deathpenalty info.org/studies-majority-leading-criminologists-fi. .. M. Radelet, T. Lacock. “Do Executions Lower Homicide Rates? The Views of Leading Criminologists. 99 Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology. 489 (2009).
7. deathpenalty.procon.org › ... › Is the death penalty immoral? Bryan Stevenson, JD, Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and Founder-Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, in his article "Close to Death: Reflections on Race and Capital Punishment in America," from Debating the Death Penalty: Should America Have Capital Punishment? The Experts on Both Sides Make Their Best Case (2004).
8. www.nationalmemo.com/gov-rick-scott-vetoes-funds-for- wrongful - ... BY Axel Tonconogy. June 7, 2012 .
11. FADP: Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty . www.fadp.org/ . CNN/ORC, Oct. 12, 2011 , “CNN Poll; Number who prefer death penalty on decline.”
13. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml .
14. deathpenalty.procon.org › ... › Is the death penalty immoral? The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), in an Apr. 9, 2007 website section titled "The Death Penalty: Questions and Answers.
Mary Hamer is a medical doctor who writes Earth, human & animal rights essays.
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