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Capital Punishment in the United States Explained

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In our Explainer series, Fair Punishment Project lawyers help unpackage some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines - like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine - so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those affected by the criminal justice system to show how these laws and principles should work, and how they often fail. We will update our Explainers monthly to keep them current. Read our updated explainer here.
To beat the clock on the expiration of its lethal injection drug supply, this past April, Arkansas tried to execute 8 men over 1 days. The stories told in frantic legal filings and clemency petitions revealed a deeply disturbing picture. Ledell Lee may have had an intellectual disability that rendered him constitutionally ineligible for the death penalty, but he had a spate of bad lawyers who failed to timely present evidence of this claim -…

Florida death row inmate wants early execution

Wayne Doty
Wayne Doty
BRADFORD COUNTY, Fla.--A two-time convicted murderer is asking for mercy from the courts, but not for a lesser sentence. Wayne Doty, who is on death row, wants to waive his right to counsel and be executed without post conviction proceedings.

The Bradford County Courthouse held a hearing to first determine if Wayne Doty was competent. This morning we heard from three expert witnesses testifying Doty is competent enough to make an informed decision and recognizes the consequences of his decision. One witness even stated Doty, who has an 8th grade formal education, was of above average intelligence and his reasonings for wanting to be executed now were logical.

After Judge Nilon found Doty competent, the Court proceeded with a Durocher/Faretta hearing to determine whether Doty can not only discharge his counsel, but also dismiss pending post conviction proceedings in both state and federal courts. The judge said it was his obligation as a judge, and human being, to advise Doty to reconsider. In response, Doty said he would stick with his decision and feels he deserves he punishment that's been given.

The hearing lasted about four hours and Judge Nilon listened as Doty made his case for continuing without an attorney. Doty admitted during his initial trial, he didn't have any emotional feelings toward the victims or their families. However now, Doty wants everybody he hurt to move on and he doesn't think that can happen while he's still in prison.

"I've been a prosecutor since 1973," says state attorney Bill Cervone, "and this is the first time I've been through a proceeding like this where a defendant is as articulate and specific in outlining his requests that all proceedings stop and that the sentence of the law be carried out."

The judge did not make a ruling on the Durocher/Faretta hearing today, but says he hopes to rule in a reasonable time.

"Once the judge enters his order, whatever that may be, an automatic appeal [will be made] to the Florida Supreme Court," says Cervone.

At this time we do not know when the judge will make his ruling. Even when his decision is made, we won't know when the Florida Supreme Court can hear Doty's case.

Source: wcjb.com, April 1, 2016

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