House approves bill to speed up capital punishment

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A bill that would speed up the death penalty in Florida has been passed by the Florida House of Representatives.

The House passed the Timely Justice Act of 2013 (HB 7083) on Thursday by a vote of 84-34. The bill goes to the Senate where a similar bill is being considered later today.

Rep. Matt Gaetz's bill creates tighter timeframes for appeals and post-conviction motions and imposes reporting requirements on case progress.

It also re-establishes a separate agency for north Florida to provide appellate-level legal representation to death-sentenced inmates.

Democrats continued to say the bill favors speed over fairness. Twenty-four men have been exonerated from Florida's death row since 1973. But 28 people now on Death Row have been there longer than 30 years.

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