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Thursday, April 02, 2015

A BROKEN SYSTEM


A Louisiana Prosecutor who put an innocent man on death row says the system is broken. 
The Huffington Post has the full story here. 
The Prosecutor, Marty Stroud had some interesting things to say: 

Now, Stroud is sharing his story, both as a cautionary tale and as a call to action for ending the death penalty. Stroud appeared on MSNBC Wednesday night with a warning to prosecutors:
"They should take heed in the fact that if something does go wrong, as it did in this case, it will be with them until the day they leave this earth."
Prosecutors should want justice, not convictions," Stroud said. "We still deal in the politics of blood."
"I don’t know where for the life of me we get off preaching to other countries about their criminal justice systems," Stroud said. "We need to look inward. We’re with the likes of the Yemen and North Korea and Iran."
"We can’t trust the government to fix potholes," he continued. "Why should we believe they can design a death penalty system that's fair?"

This area of the law is not our bailiwick or milieu, but we have noticed this: Florida's death penalty system is an outlier. Florida is only one of two states that allows a person to be sentenced to death without the unanimous recommendation of a jury. In following the Federal Ring line of decisions, it seems apparent that the system does not follow what the Supreme Court has said is the constitutional requirements for enhanced sentencing. Now the US Supreme Court has accepted Cert on a case challenging Florida's death penalty law. The law was held unconstitutional by a federal judge in our district (Judge Martinez we believe).  The case will be argued next term. 
And yet, all through the state we see death penalty cases starting up. As far as we know, the Miami Dade State attorney's office has given the challenge to Florida's laws a big yawn. 
The government can't fix potholes, and Florida prosecutors can't or won't read a petition for cert to see that the chances of the US Supreme Court upholding Florida's death penalty statute are slim to none. Why would the court grant cert in this case about a set of laws completely out of step with current law and the laws of other states? 

See You In Court. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow!! No comments from the prosecutorial peanut gallery?