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Rick Scott remains mum on how to fix state’s death penalty

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With Florida’s death penalty law in limbo due to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Emily Cope on Wednesday described in chilling detail how her father, Keith, was hog-tied and left for dead back in 2009 when she was a teenager. Cope recalled how her father suffered a stroke while he was left bound with rope and duct tape for days and then later died. She pleaded with state legislators to reject a proposal to require that juries unanimously recommend the…

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Today on Context Florida: Florida’s legislative intransigence, not just who you know, “fail first” and protecting Bimini

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Today on Context Florida: In the second of a three-part series, Julie Delegal recounts the Florida Legislature’s history of intransigence when it comes to the requirement that penalty-phase vertex be unanimous to impose capital punishment. Now, in light of a January U.S. Supreme Court ruling, attorneys agree there is no constitutional means by which to sentence convicted murderers to death in Florida. “It’s who you know.” Dale Brill says we have all experienced it, even if we do not recognize it.…

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Today on Context Florida: Death penalty inconsistency, David Jolly, drug abuse, campaign insanity and insurance fraud

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Today on Context Florida: In a U.S. Supreme Court dissent last year, Martin Dyckman notes, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote that it’s time to abolish capital punishment death penalty. The whole notion is riddled with too many inconsistencies for a civil society, Breyer said. At the time, only Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg agreed. Every year, about 1,000 people go to Florida prisons for various degrees of homicide. Last year, only nine of them went to death row. U.S. Rep. David Jolly pulls…

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U.S. Supreme Court reviews Florida’s death penalty

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Florida’s unique system for imposing the death penalty is encountering some skeptics on the U.S. Supreme Court. But it was not clear Tuesday whether a majority would find that the state gives judges too much power to decide capital sentences. The justices heard arguments in the case of inmate Timothy Lee Hurst, who was convicted of killing his manager at a Popeye’s restaurant in Pensacola. A jury divided 7-5 in favor of death, but a judge imposed the sentence. Hurst’s…

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Today on Context Florida: Capital punishment, Columba Bush and blindly following ‘green’

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Today on Context Florida: A new voice has emerged in the debate about capital punishment, and, in one respect, Julie Delegal says it echoes a very old one. Marc Hyden is a former field director for the National Rifle Association — sealing forever his street cred as a deep-dyed conservative. His new gig is coordinating a group that rose from the ground up, in CPAC meetings around the country: Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty. Columba Bush writes about the 27th anniversary…

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Former lawmaker Bev Kilmer challenges Brad Drake for Panhandle House seat

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When Rep. Brad Drake agreed to step aside and allow Rep. Marti Coley to finish out her tenure in the House after 2011 redistricting, he probably figured her former HD 5 seat was all his for four terms. But Bev Kilmer has announced she will not extend Drake the same professional courtesy Coley received when she and Drake were drawn into the same district. Kilmer, a former fellow Republican state representative, filed paperwork to run for the deep-red Panhandle House seat on Wednesday, according to Division of Elections…

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