Florida court upholds laws aimed at speeding up death sentences

Fla. Supreme Court unanimously ruled 'Timely Justice Act' constitutional

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Supreme Court is upholding a law aimed at speeding up death sentences.

The court unanimously on Wednesday ruled that the "Timely Justice Act" is constitutional. Justices rejected arguments that the measure unfairly limited the ability of condemned inmates to introduce new evidence.

Florida legislators passed the law in 2013 in response to criticism that some convicted murderers remain on death row for decades.

The law created stricter time frames for appeals and post-conviction motions. It also enacts reporting requirements on case progress.

Before the law was passed Gov. Rick Scott began speeding up the pace of executions. There have been 17 executions since Scott took office in 2011.

John Henry, who is convicted of killing his estranged wife and her 5-year-old son, is scheduled to be executed next week.

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