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Scott signs bill to streamline death penalty review, allowing him to execute at record pace

Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill into law Friday aimed at accelerating the pace of the death penalty process in Florida that could make the governor the most active executioner in modern state history.

The measure, dubbed “the Timely Justice Act” by its proponents, requires governors to sign death warrants 30 days after the Florida Supreme Court certifies that an inmate has exhausted his legal appeals. Once a death warrant is signed, the new law requires the state to execute the defendant within six months.

The bill, which passed the House 84-34 and was approved by the Senate 28-10, allows the governor to control the execution schedule slightly because it requires him to sign a death warrant after the required clemency review is completed and only the governor may order the clemency investigation. Scott’s office told lawmakers that because at least 13 of the 404 inmates on Death Row have exhausted their appeals, his office has already started the clock on the clemency review.

If Scott were to sign death warrants for the 13 eligible inmates, and their executions were to continue as planned, he will be on schedule to put to death 21 murderers since he took office in January 2011. The only other recent governor who executed that many people was former Gov. Jeb Bush, who ordered the execution of 21 convicted killers but did it over an eight-year period.

The only governor to commute a death sentence since the state passed its current capital punishment law in 1973 was former Gov. Bob Graham who reduced the sentences of seven men between 1979 and 1983 for various reasons, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Story here.

 

Comments

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Mary Lynn McDavid

What is it about Republican governors who profess to be Christians but want to exact God's revenge? What is it in their backgrounds and ideologies that make them this way? They are far more frightening to me than those shackled and chained people on death rows. Plus these are the same people who ax programs to help those suffering from child abuse and mental illness--often those who wind up in prisons. What is their motive?

Dudley Sharp

Weird law.

Why wait 6 months after appeals are complete?

Why not 2-3 weeks?

Dudley Sharp

Mary:

I think their motive is a responsible protocol for justice.

But, it seems a weird law to delay 6 months, when the appeals are already completed.

It is not surprising that Christians support the death penalty.

John, you are in error.

Jesus and the death penalty
Dudley Sharp

God/Jesus: ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Whoever curses father or mother must certainly be put to death.’ Matthew 15:4

This is a New Testament command, which references several of the same commands from God, in the same circumstance, from the OT.

Jesus: Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.” The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (Jesus) replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23: 39-43

It is not the nature of our deaths, but the state of salvation at the time of death which is most important.

Jesus: “So Pilate said to (Jesus), “Do you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?” Jesus answered (him), “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above.” John 19:10-11

The power to execute comes directly from God.

Jesus: “You have heard the ancients were told, ˜YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER” and “Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court”. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, “Raca”, shall be guilty before the supreme court and whoever shall say, “You fool”, shall be guilty enough to go into fiery hell.” Matthew 5:17-22.

Fiery hell is a considerable more severe sanction than any earthly death.

The Holy Spirit, God, through the power and justice of the Holy Spirit, executed both Ananias and his wife, Saphira. Their crime? Lying to the Holy Spirit – to God – through Peter. Acts 5:1-11.

No trial, no appeals, just death on the spot.

God: “You shall not accept indemnity in place of the life of a murderer who deserves the death penalty; he must be put to death.” Numbers 35:31 (NAB) full context http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/numbers/numbers35.htm

For murder, there is no mitigation from a death sentence.

God: Genesis 9:5-6, from the 1764 Quaker Bible, the only Quaker bible.

5 And I will certainly require the Blood of your Lives, and that from the Paw of any Beast: from the Hand likewise of Man, even of any one’s Brother, will I require the Life of a Man.

6 He that sheds Man’s Blood, shall have his own shed by Man; because in the Likeness of God he made Mankind.

Of all the versions/translations, this may be the most unequivocal - Murder requires execution of the murderer. It is a command. The Noahic covenant if for all persons and all times.

---

"All interpretations, contrary to the biblical support of capital punishment, are false. Interpreters ought to listen to the Bible’s own agenda, rather than to squeeze from it implications for their own agenda. As the ancient rabbis taught, “Do not seek to be more righteous than your Creator.” (Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7.33.). Part of Synopsis of Professor Lloyd R. Bailey’s book Capital Punishment: What the Bible Says, Abingdon Press, 1987.

Saint (& Pope) Pius V, "The just use of (executions), far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this (Fifth) Commandment which prohibits murder." "The Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent" (1566).

Pope Pius XII: "When it is a question of the execution of a man condemned to death it is then reserved to the public power to deprive the condemned of the benefit of life, in expiation of his fault, when already, by his fault, he has dispossessed himself of the right to live." 9/14/52.

"Moral/ethical Death Penalty Support: Christian and secular Scholars"
http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2009/07/death-penalty-support-modern-catholic.html

Christianity and the death penalty
http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/DP.html#F.Christianity

Catholic and other Christian References: Support for the Death Penalty,
http://homicidesurvivors.com/2006/10/12/catholic-and-other-christian-references-support-for-the-death-penalty.aspx

Timothy Hites

This has nothing to do with criminal justice. This is to satisfy the blood lust of his rabid red neck base that love executions as much as NASCAR or watching Glen Beck while high on Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Marsha Lyons

Read Dale Recinella's excellent book "The Biblical Truth about America's Death Penalty"; it ends the discussion regarding whether America has the right to murder it's citizens and place the blame on the Bible for allowing them to do so.

"Timely Justice Act" should not be the discussion; human rights and ending the death penalty in every state in the United States should be. The citizens of this country can be kept safe by using the "life in prison without parole" sentence rather than being allowed to sentence them to death - to show we should not kill!

Revenge and get even are as far as some people can see - you should not be allowed to believe the Bible said it was the right thing to do.

Dudley Sharp

Marsha:

Dale's book is a very poor guide for the death penalty.

Folks appear to credit justice for the death penalty, just as with all sanctions.

Based upon my thorough review above, Christians can find substantial death penalty support, for over 2000 years, based upon both biblical and theological teachings of Saints, Popes, scholars, ministers, etc.

Revenge is not part of the death penalty system, in the US. In fact, the death penalty has the greatest due process protections of any sanction in the US, putting it even that much further from revenge.

Justice is the foundation of the death penalty, just as with all sanctions.

Can't take anymore

Now Gov Cueball can further punish poor and minority folks by expediting their executions. He can even give his pal Rick Perry a run for the crown of most wrongly convicted/executed persons whose convictions were later found to be in error. Yahooooo, do you want electricity or a poison injection with that sentence?

Redundant

Nobody that can afford a decent lawyer ever gets the death penalty. As for the bible... I thought the legislature outlawed foreign laws from being used in Florida courts (the bible was written in a foreign land unless you are LDS). I do recall something about Jesus preventing a crowd from stoning a woman to death and saying something about not casting the first stone. What we don't need is more self righteous hypocrites.

Dudley Sharp

Redundant:

Reconsider

The Death Penalty & The Woman Caught in Adultery - John 8:2-11
Compiled by Dudley Sharp

1) Anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean, often inaccurate, get this right: “It is abundantly clear that the Bible depicts murder as a capital crime for which death is considered the appropriate punishment, and one is hard pressed to find a biblical proof text in either the Hebrew Testament or the New Testament which unequivocally refutes this. Even Jesus’ admonition “Let him without sin cast the first stone”, when He was asked the appropriate punishment for an adulteress (John 8:7) – the Mosaic Law prescribed death – should be read in its proper context. This passage is an entrapment story, which sought to how Jesus’ wisdom in besting His adversaries. It is not an ethical pronouncement about capital punishment . Sister Helen Prejean, Dead Man Walking.

2) What about the woman caught in adultery? From “Why I Support Capital Punishment”, by Andrew Tallman, sections 7-11 biblical review, sections 1-6 secular review See Part 11
http://andrewtallmanshowarticles.blogspot.com/2008/05/why-i-support-capital-punishment-part_07.html

"the Pharisees wanted to make Jesus a heretic for opposing capital punishment, but He evaded their trap. The tremendous irony is that now, two thousand years later, people who claim to love Jesus teach that He was precisely the heretic His enemies wanted to paint Him as."

3) Sanctity of Life & the Death Penalty: Flip sides of the same “Divine” coin
Author: Richard Eric Gunby, Quodlibet Journal: Volume 5 Number 2-3, July 2003
ISSN: 1526-6575 John 8:2-11 (NRSV)

"Therefore their motives (to entrap Jesus) were nothing but evil. They were not seeking to follow God’s Law-Word in godly fashion; rather, they were attempting to employ surreptitiously what Moses said, towards their own evil ends of trying to trip Jesus up. What a foul thing."

"This cannot be read as an example of Jesus doing away with the law. Far from it! This is an example of Jesus, again, going by the clear unencumbered dictates of the law and not allowing it to be used towards evil ends in His presence. It is Jesus together with the Law triumphant over His enemies and their tradition. This is clearly an upholding of the law."

http://www.quodlibet.net/articles/gunby-sanctity.shtml
as of 4/24/10

4) John 8: The Woman Caught in Adultery – Dealing with Capital Offenses Lawfully
http://reocities.com/CapitolHill/lobby/3562/adultry.html

5) The text could hardly be more clear, this was an entrapment story.

John 8:6 - "They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. "

6) Excellent review of the challenges to the authenticity of John 8
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/religion/spurious.htm
as of 8/6/10

Start here: • John 7:53 - 8.11: The "woman taken in adultery" story: Metzger's statement. Just before page 105 and through page 201

more

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11457c.htm

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