Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Florida Death Penalty Declared Unconstitutional

U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez has ruled that Florida's death penalty is unconstitutional.

The ruling Monday by U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez applies only in the case of convicted murderer Paul H. Evans, who is on Florida's Death Row. The ruling means that Evans will get a new sentencing hearing.

Martinez said Florida's system violates the Constitution because jurors are not required to announce specific findings on aggravating factors required to justify the death penalty. The jurors make only a general recommendation of death or life by majority vote. The final decision is up to a judge.

I have mixed feelings about the death penalty. I didn't shed any tears when Ted Bundy was executed or Osama bin Laden was executed in Pakistan. I don't believe that President Obama wanted to go through the legal nightmare of having to put bin Laden on trail.

I do find it disturbing that other Western countries have abandoned the death penalty. America is still stuck with a 19th century mentality of justice. I don't buy the argument from death penalty supporters that it is about justice. Killing Ted Bundy is about revenge. Pure and simple. I also can't stand the hypocrisy of politicians who are against abortion and euthanasia because of the sanctity of life. Yet these same people execute prisoners and swear that an innocent person has never been wrongly executed.

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