The death penalty, also known as capital punishment, is a controversial topic in Florida and around the world. Supporters argue that it serves as a deterrent to crime and is a just punishment for heinous crimes such as murder. Those opposed to it argue that it is inhumane and results in the execution of innocent people.
Is the Death Penalty Allowed In Florida?
In Florida, the death penalty is carried out by lethal injection. The state has a relatively high number of deaths. However, in recent years, there has been a decline in the number of death sentences handed down and executions carried out in the state.
One of the reasons for the decline is the increasing use of DNA evidence and other new technologies. These technologies have led to the exoneration of several death row inmates in Florida and other states. This has raised questions about the reliability of the criminal justice system and the possibility of executing innocent people.
Another reason for the decline is the availability of life without parole as a sentence option. In recent years, more and more prosecutors have been seeking life sentences instead of death sentences, in part because it is a less costly and time-consuming option.
In addition to these issues, there are also concerns about the racial disparities in the application of the death penalty in Florida. Studies have shown that defendants who are convicted of killing white victims are more likely to be sentenced to death than defendants convicted of killing black victims.
Aggravating Factors That May Be Sentenced To The Death Penalty
The death penalty in Florida is used almost exclusively for the crime of murder. But many aggravating factors can get you to it too, some examples are:
- It was committed by a person previously convicted of a felony and under sentence of imprisonment, placed on community control, or felony probation.
- The defendant was previously convicted of another capital felony or of a felony involving the use or threat of violence against the person.
- The defendant knowingly created a great risk of death for many people.
- It was committed while the defendant was engaged, or was an accomplice, in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, a specified felony (such as aggravated child abuse, arson, kidnapping, or the placing or discharging of a destructive device or bomb).
- It was committed to avoid or prevent a lawful arrest or effecting an escape from custody.
- The first known execution in Florida was in 1827, when Benjamin Donica was hanged for murder.
- Frank Johnson was the first person to be executed by electrocution in Florida on Oct. 7, 1924.
- The last Florida execution was Gary Ray Bowles on Aug. 22, 2019.
In conclusion, the death penalty remains a contentious issue in Florida, as well as in the rest of the United States. While it continues to be used as a punishment for the most heinous crimes, the increasing use of advanced technologies, the availability of life without parole, and concerns about racial disparities have led to a decline in its use in recent years.
Being charged with a crime is not the time to put your future in the hands of a lawyer who doesn’t have the experience to protect you. No matter what situation you find yourself in, trial attorney Russell Spatz has the knowledge and experience to fight for your best interests.
To arrange a consultation with Russell Spatz, call 305-442-0200 or contact him online.
(WPTV) 5 things to know about death penalty in Florida https://www.wptv.com/news/state/5-things-to-know-about-death-penalty-in-florida
(Death Penalty Information Center) Florida https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/state-and-federal-info/state-by-state/florida
(Wikipedia) Capital Punishment In Florida https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_Florida#:~:text=1977%2C%20in%20Utah.-,Capital%20crimes,control%2C%20or%20on%20felony%20probation.