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Florida Timely Justice Act of 2013

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The Florida Legislature has passed the Timely Justice Act of 2013 to speed up the execution of capital judgments in that state.  AP has this story.  For all the hyperventilating from the anti side, the changes are quite modest.  Probably the most important reform is require the Secretary of Corrections to issue death warrants, rather than placing that function exclusively with the Governor personally, and to place some time limits on that process.  The reform is long overdue.

The Legislature has completely caved on the Florida Supreme Court's holding that the Court has the exclusive power to regulate collateral review procedure under the constitutional provision authorizing the Court to make rules of procedure.  The Court declared the Legislature's reform of collateral review procedures unconstitutional on this theory, and this bill meekly repeals the reform.  What Florida needs is a constitutional amendment clarifying that the Court's rule-making power is supplemental and subordinate to the Legislature's retained authority to regulate procedure by statute.

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