TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A bill that would speed up the death penalty in Florida has been passed by the Florida House of Representatives.
The House passed the Timely Justice Act of 2013 (HB 7083) on Thursday by a vote of 84-34. The bill goes to the Senate where a similar bill is being considered later today.
Rep. Matt Gaetz's bill creates tighter timeframes for appeals and post-conviction motions and imposes reporting requirements on case progress.
It also re-establishes a separate agency for north Florida to provide appellate-level legal representation to death-sentenced inmates.
Democrats continued to say the bill favors speed over fairness. Twenty-four men have been exonerated from Florida's death row since 1973. But 28 people now on Death Row have been there longer than 30 years.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
President Barack Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro Tuesday at a memorial service for Nelson Mandela, a simple gesture that, while promptly downplayed by the White House, created a furor in Washington among critics of the Cuban regime.