Like most death penalty states, Florida has a web of state-level appeals processes and additional checks to ensure that every aspect of a case is thoroughly examined before an accused criminal is executed. This system is expensive and often cruel, which is why many death penalty advocates cite extended death row wait times during the appellate process as a reason to abolish the system altogether (indeed, there’s a bill in the Florida state legislature that proposes to do just that). But Rep. Matt Gaetz (R) has a different view:
Every death penalty defendant deserves a fair trial. In Florida, they even get a mandatory appeal to the Supreme Court. But after the Supreme Court has spoken all subsequent appeals should be limited.
The problem with Gaetz’ “solution,” as Radley Balko notes, is that Florida leads the nation in death row exonerations. 24 people have been exonerated after being sentenced to die in Florida since the state reinstituted the death penalty in the 70s. That’s a full quarter of all slated executions in Florida during that time period.
Let's just repeat that, and let it sink in:
That’s a full quarter of all slated executions in Florida during that time period.