Death Row Inmates Sue To Block Fla. 'Timely Justice Act'

Jun 27, 2013

The new Florida law aimed at speeding up the death penalty process could now be blocked from going into effect. The state agency that represents death row inmates after direct appeals have been exhausted has filed a suit on their behalf, asking the Florida Supreme Court to block the "Timely Justice Act."

Gov. Rick Scott signed the Timely Justice Act earlier this month. The law would impose strict time frames for parts of the death penalty process and require automatic death warrants at a certain stage.

Lawyer Chance Meyer is with the Capital Collateral Regional Council, which filed the suit on behalf of 170 death-row inmates.

“We certainly understand the impulse for, the need for, swift justice," he said. "But the fact is, the problem isn’t a lack of speed in the process. It’s a lack of process in the process. That’s why we’ve had so many exhonerations.”

Florida leads all other states for the number of people convicted to death row and later exonerated. The suit is asking the Supreme Court to block the Timely Justice Act from going into on Monday.