Florida Supreme Court revamps rules for death penalty appeals
The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday approved a series of changes aimed at improving the death-penalty appeals process, including revising requirements for attorneys handling cases.
Justices last year formed a subcommittee to look at the appeals system, a move that came as the Legislature targeted delays in carrying out the death penalty by passing a bill dubbed the “Timely Justice Act.”
The Supreme Court largely approved a series of rule changes that were proposed by the subcommittee and that deal with what are known as “post-conviction” appeals in death-penalty cases. The subcommittee took input from groups such as judges, prosecutors, public defenders and the governor’s office.
As an example of the revisions, justices approved additional requirements for lead attorneys in post-conviction appeals. Those attorneys, in part, will be required to have at least three years of experience in post-conviction litigation and also meet criteria for experience in handling capital cases.
Justices Charles Canady and Ricky Polston dissented on two issues, including a rule change that will prevent defendants from representing themselves in post-conviction proceedings.
How We Can Help
If you, a friend or a family member find themselves in a situation such as this, please call the Law Office of Scott A. Ferris, P.A. at 305 670-3330 right away. Scott A. Ferris, Esq. is a licensed criminal law attorney who has been practicing law since 1987. He is available whenever you need him to defend your rights. Please learn about our firm at www.FerrisLawFirm.com.