Forum to focus on Florida Death Penalty

FORUM Weds. Sept. 16 TO FOCUS ON FLORIDA DEATH PENALTY

Three years after the American Bar Association completed one of the most comprehensive studies to date on the fairness and accuracy of the death penalty in Florida, some of the state’s best legal minds will gather at The Florida State University to examine the ABA’s findings and discuss what, if anything, has changed in the administration of capital punishment.

“The Florida Death Penalty: A Retrospective on the ABA Assessment on Capital Punishment in Florida — What has Changed and What Remains the Same?” will consist of three, one-hour panel discussions featuring judges, lawyers, researchers and a citizen who was exonerated after spending 17 years on Florida’s death row.

Panelists will focus on a range of problems identified in the 2006 ABA report, including ineffective defense counsel, prosecutorial issues, juror confusion, clemency, wrongful conviction and Florida’s unique status as the only death penalty state in the country that allows a jury to decide if sufficient aggravating circumstances exist and allows the jury to recommend a sentence of death by a mere majority vote. They also will discuss the fiscal implications of the death penalty and the propriety of alternatives to capital punishment. The ABA report did not support or oppose capital punishment. To access the full report, visit www.abavideonews.org/ABA340/.

The forum, hosted by the FSU Center for the Advancement of Human Rights and sponsored by the American Bar Association, is free and open to the public. It will be held:

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 16

NOON – 3 P.M.

FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW

ROTUNDA

425 W. JEFFERSON ST., TALLAHASSEE

Public parking is available across the street at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center. The forum also will be webcast live at http://campus.fsu.edu/ABA.