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America Is Stuck With the Death Penalty for (At Least) a Generation

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With Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, the national fight to abolish capital punishment will have to go local.
When the Supreme Court revived capital punishment in 1976, just four years after de facto abolishing it, the justices effectively took ownership of the American death penalty and all its outcomes. They have spent the decades since then setting its legal and constitutional parameters, supervising its general implementation, sanctioning its use in specific cases, and brushing aside concerns about its many flaws.
That unusual role in the American legal system is about to change. With Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the court this summer, the Supreme Court will lose a heterodox jurist whose willingness to cross ideological divides made him the deciding factor in many legal battles. In cases involving the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, his judgment often meant the difference between life and death for hundreds of death-row pr…

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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