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Electrocution in Florida Unconstitutional?

According to Corrections Alert, the Florida Supreme Court soon will decide whether electrocution constitutes cruel and unusual punishment -- a ruling that could impact correctional policies in the other 10 states that use the electric chair for executions.

Florida ranks only 13th in execution rates among the 38 states that permit capital punishment. However, of 25 "botched" executions nationawide during the 1990s -- compiled by the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) in Washington, D.C. -- Florida allegedly "botched" three electrocutions, two of which occurred in the past two years.

Electrocution is the sole method of execution used in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Nebraska. According to 1999 information from DPIC, Florida has used an electric chair for executions as far back as 1923.

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has signed death warrants on only two of the state's more than 350 death row inmates this year. During the last 20 years, 44 death warrants have been carried out.

A murderer sentenced to death in Florida will live on death row an average of 10.6 years at a cost of $55.14 per day, per inmate, or $213,337. These figures, however, do not include the substantial costs of associated professional services, including legal, medical and state agency staff.
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Author:Harry, Jennifer L.
Publication:Corrections Today
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 1999
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