Quantcast

Scott leads capital punishment bandwagon

caines | 6/6/2013, 5:30 a.m.

There are 400 inmates on death row in Florida many of these cases are complex with many twist and turns. Death penalty appeals are just 12 percent of the courts cases but they take up more than 50 percent of the courts time. These cases cost the state thousands of dollars, and most of the inmates have been on death row for more than a decade. If the five sentences now being considered are carried out, it would make this the most executions in Florida in a year, since Governor Bush executed six in 2000. The Rev. Phil Egitto, a Roman Catholic priest, says that while he understands Scotts desire to be hard on crime, I dont think this is the solution. Egitto is an opponent of the death-penalty and he organizes protest at each execution. Many other opponents believe this is a campaign strategy to make it appear that Scott is hard on crime. Nevertheless, no one really knows what the governor is thinking, and it is incumbent that opponents of the death-penalty ask questions. Not since 1989, when Governor Bob Martinez set a record by signing six death warrants in a single day, has a Florida governor been so eager to use the death-penalty. Scott recently signed three death warrants and these executions are set over the next six weeks. Many times death warrants are blocked in federal court, but it appears that our governor wants to move the system forward. During Scotts first year, two prisoners were executed, three were executed during his second year. As the five current death warrants are discussed in the court of public opinion, it will be interesting to see how Floridians will react to the death-penalty. Many priests and pastors believe that execution is barbaric and an eye for an eye is a distorted way to view the world. But American leaders, lawmakers and judges practice this policy every day and justice is determined by who has the most money and is willing to pay. Hopefully, Scotts death warrants will be blocked by the courts and his priorities will shift to a different policy. But opponents to capital punishment must continue to be vigilant. There is a fundamental pervasive sickness in capital punishment and our governor is sitting at the head of the table. In Florida we need more level-headed thinking and rational decisions made by our governor. Roger Caldwell is the CEO of On Point Media Group in Orlando.