Senate OKs bill speeding up capital punishment

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that would speed up the state's capital punishment process.

The bill (HB 7083) cleared the Senate on a 28-10 vote Monday. The measure passed the House earlier and now goes to Gov. Rick Scott for his consideration.

Supporters of the bill say it's a "mockery" of the justice system that decades often elapse between the time of conviction and the time of execution.

They say the decades-long process adds to the anguish for the families of victims.

The bill's opponents say the state shouldn't be in a rush to execute inmates because DNA evidence might someday prove a condemned prisoner's innocence.

The measure creates tighter timeframes for appeals, post-conviction motions and imposes reporting requirements on case progress.

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