Florida leads the country in death row exonerations. It certainly makes sense that Representative Matt Gaetz would prefer to make executions quicker.
Anyone who can think should come to the conclusion that is quite the opposite result a logical thinking person would come to. If Florida has such a problem obtaining correct verdicts in capital cases, why on earth would it make sense to speed up the executions? Rep. Gaetz wrote an op-ed on this subject:
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.
Yes, Mr. Gaetz, each person should receive a mandatory appeal. If you are going to sentence someone to the ultimate sentence, a sentence that once carried out cannot be given any form of restitution should it be wrong, is not something to be despised. Being absolutely certain that a person who is to be put to death is the person who committed the crime is good and I cannot fathom how anyone thinks otherwise.
If we are going to trust twelve random members of the community, all of whom must not be opposed to the death penalty, why not ensure that decision is correct? Why not be certain the person charged is the person who committed the crime? Rep. Gaetz?
Taxpayers should not be forced to fund endless, insincere appeals. Each capital case costs over $1 million. We fund the lawyers, experts, judges and court time for both sides — often for decades — even when there is no claim of innocence.
Then, if it is so expensive, why not eliminate capital punishment altogether? Doing so would still provide deterrence as no one really wants to spend their entire life in prison. Plus, it would be cheaper as taxpayers would no longer fund those “endless appeals” required of capital convictions.
One of my colleagues in the Legislature has filed H.B. 4005 to end the death penalty. She argues it costs more than life imprisonment and doesn’t deter crime. In the status quo, she may be right. But I’d rather fix the system than surrender to the murderers.
Let me get this straight: Rep. Gaetz would rather fix a broken system, a system that does nothing to deter crime, costs taxpayers large sums of money and is a system which makes no excuses for putting its own citizens to death. Do I have that correct?
Let’s not gloss over the fact that Rep. Gaetz agrees that his colleague is “right” that capital punishment is more expensive than life in prison and does nothing to deter crime. How does he come to the conclusion that capital punishment is still something to be desired? How does that make any logical sense? Oh right… it doesn’t!