NEW VOICES: Former Florida Justice Calls for Fundamental Change in Death Penalty

Raoul Cantera (pictured), a former Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, said the state should follow the practice of almost every other death penalty state and require juries to be unanimous when recommending a death sentence. Cantera also said that a a comprehensive review of the state’s death penalty is “long overdue” and should begin by considering the recommendations of a 2006 American Bar Association report on the state’s death penalty. Mark Schlakman, who was a member of the team that prepared the ABA report, joined Justice Cantera in calling for changes to the state’s system. Florida may have as many as 135 death penalty cases that could be moved close to execution under the state’s new Timely Justice Act. Recently, Florida has imposed more death sentences than any other state, and has had more exonerations than any other state since 1973.

(R. Cantera and M. Schlakman, “State’s death-penalty overhaul: Require juries to be unanimous,” Orlando Sentinel op-ed, August 27, 2013). See Arbitrariness and New Voices.