Florida Rep. Rehwinkel Vasilinda files bill to repeal death penalty

09/30/11 Lisa Marzilli, Beth Bell
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Today we’re going to talk about a subject that has been making headlines lately and that is the death penalty. On Saturday a host of nationally known activists and entertainers will gather in Savannah for the funeral of Troy Davis, the Georgia death row inmate who was executed last week amid a global outcry. Davis’s killing was one of trio that took place within the last couple of weeks including one here in Florida, when Manuel Valle was executed by lethal injection Wednesday night.

There are close to 400 people currently sitting on Florida’s death row with wait times that can span decades. Valle was in prison 33 years before being executed. There are also innocent people among them. According to the group Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, Florida leads the nation in death row exonerations, with 26 since 1973.

Amid the growing concerns over the possible execution of innocents, as well as the exorbitant cost to the state, one Tallahassee legislator has filed a bill (HB 4051) that would end the death penalty in Florida. She is State Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, a Tallahassee Democrat, and she joins us on the phone.

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