The Death Penalty and Florida Law

The Death Penalty and Florida Law

Florida is known as the sunshine state, so when one hears the word Florida, they think sun, sand and Disney World. Therefore, many would be surprised to learn that Florida has executed 93 people and is in the top ten states with the most deaths as punishment for crimes committed. Inmates were put to death via electrocution and in January of 2000, legislation to execute using lethal injection was passed. Death row inmates have very few rights or comforts. Their cells are 6 x 9 x 9.5 feet high, they must wear handcuffs everywhere except when in their cell, they may only eat at scheduled times and are only allowed to shower every other day. Because of this, it is not surprising that the use of the death penalty is not favored by all.

A Contested Issue

Not surprisingly, Florida’s death penalty law has been ruled unconstitutional – again. Florida’s highest court ruled that a jury must be unanimous when imposing a death sentence and the amended death penalty law does not require this. It requires that only 10 jurors are required to recommend death, but the constitution requires 12. Many Floridians oppose the death penalty for various reasons.

  • They do not believe it is a deterrent to violent crime. Many states in the south where the death penalty is used have higher murder rates than in the north where it is banned.
  • The death penalty is racist. Many believe the death penalty is applied in a racially biased manner. This bias is not only applied to the defendant but also extends to the race of the victim.
  • The penalty punishes the poor. Over 90% of defendants charged with capital crimes cannot afford an experienced criminal defense attorney. They are forced to use inexperienced, overworked and underpaid lawyers. Their trials are short and do not allow them to present a good defense.
  • The death penalty condemns the innocent to die.123 people have been released from death row with evidence of their innocence. There is little doubt that innocent people have been wrongly executed.
  • The death penalty is a cruel and unusual punishment.
  • The death penalty fails to recognize that guilty people can change, denying them to ever rejoin society. Many believe people can and do change and that they deserve a second chance.

Stan Tookie Williams

Stan Tooke Williams was a former leader of the Crips gang. He was convicted of violent crimes and sentenced to death. While on death row, he renounced his past and dedicated his time toward the youth, speaking in the classroom and dissuading them from joining gangs. Even though the youth he targeted listened to him with captivating ears. Instead of being recognized for his contributions, Stan Tookie Williams was executed in 2005.

Defense Attorney Palm Beach Gardens

Ron Chapman’s Firm

Ultimately, it is important to have an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney by your side in court so you don’t join the percentage of those wrongfully accused and face the death penalty. If you are looking for a Defense Attorney, contact me Ron Chapman at 561-832-4348 or connect with my West Palm Beach Law office online. I am dedicated to defending your rights and can help you with your legal case.

Ron Chapman practices criminal defense in both State and Federal Courts within the State of Florida. Since 1990, Mr. Chapman has been representing people accused of committing various types of crimes. If you are facing criminal charges in Florida, Ronald Chapman can help.

Schedule your FREE Consultation! Call (561) 832-4348 or visit his website.

Visit us at You can also connect with the West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Office online today! Ron Chapman, an experienced criminal defense lawyer, dedicated to defending your rights. Contact him today to begin to discuss your case.


Ronald S. Chapman, P.A.
400 Clematis Street, Suite 206
West Palm Beach, FL 33401


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