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CS/CS/HB 7083 — Death Penalty

by Judiciary Committee; Justice Appropriations Subcommittee; Criminal Justice Subcommittee; Rep. Gaetz and others (CS/SB 1750 by Appropriations Committee and Senator Negron)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Judiciary Committee (JU)

This bill creates the Timely Justice Act of 2013 to increase efficiency in the postconviction or collateral review phase of capital cases.

The bill: 

  • Eliminates the pilot registry counsel program in the northern region of Florida.
  • Provides an appropriation to reestablish the Capital Collateral Regional Counsel (CCRC) in the northern region of Florida.
  • Prohibits counsel found by the court to have twice provided constitutionally deficient representation resulting in relief from taking on new cases for a 5-year period. The court must report each instance of constitutionally deficient representation to The Florida Bar for discipline.
  • Limits instances in which the CCRC may withdraw as counsel based on a conflict of interest to actual conflicts, which are greater than a possible, speculative, or merely hypothetical conflict.
  • Provides that the Justice Administration Commission.
    • Replaces the Department of Corrections as the agency responsible for compensating attorneys who represent inmates in clemency proceedings.
    • Assumes all responsibilities in the contracting process for legal representation in capital cases.
    • Has standing to appear in court to contest motions on payment for attorney fees, costs, or related expenses.
  • Specifies timelines, after appeals are exhausted, for the clerk and the Governor. 

Lastly, the Supreme Court must annually report to the Legislature the status of each capital case in which a postconviction action remains pending for longer than 3 years.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2013.

Vote: Senate 28-10; House 84-34