The Florida House of Representatives will be addressing the issue of capital punishment, as the memories of Georgia’s execution of Troy Davis and Florida’s execution of Manuel Valle are still fresh in the minds of legislators and the public at large.
State Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda (D-Tallahassee) has introduced HB 4051, which will now proceed through the usual path of all bills in the statehouse: committee consideration, voting, etc. Of note, Representative Rehwinkel Vasilinda introduced the same bill last year, and it never got out of committee.
The bill was introduced in tandem with the execution of Troy Davis and the swirl of media controversy surrounding that event. Balanced against that in the Florida media is the execution of Manuel Valle, labelled with the phrase "cop killer" in most media accounts of his story.
From the Florida House of Representatives website, HB 4051 is described as follows:
Death Penalty: Deletes provisions providing for death penalty for capital felonies; deletes provisions relating to representation in death penalty cases; repeals provisions relating to capital collateral representation, jurors in capital cases, prohibiting imposition of death sentence on defendant with mental retardation, determination of whether to impose sentence of death or life imprisonment for capital felony or capital drug trafficking felony, issuance of warrant of execution, stay of execution of death sentence, proceedings when person under sentence of death appears to be insane, proceedings when person under sentence of death appears to be pregnant, grounds for death warrant, execution of death sentence, prohibition against reduction of death sentence as result of determination that method of execution is unconstitutional, sentencing orders in capital cases, regulation of execution, transfer to state prison for safekeeping before death warrant issued, return of warrant of execution issued by Governor, sentence of death unexecuted for unjustifiable reasons, & return of warrant of execution issued by Supreme Court.