Sunday, October 15, 2006



54. Clemency is a critical stage of the death penalty scheme. It is the only stage at which factors like lingering doubt of innocence, remorse, rehabilitation, racial and geographic influences and factors that the legal system does not correct can be considered. See Herrera v. Collins, 506 U.S. 390, 412 (1993).

However, the assessment team found Florida=s clemency process to be severely lacking: AGiven the ambiguities and confidentiality surrounding Florida=s clemency decision-making process and that fact that clemency has not been granted to a death-sentenced inmate since 1983, it is difficult to conclude that Florida=s clemency process is adequate.@ ABA Report on Florida at vii. See Furman, 408 U.S. at 253 (Douglas, J., concurring) (AUnder these laws no standards govern the selection of the penalty. People live or die, dependent on the whim of one man or of 12.@).

55. The clemency process is entirely arbitrary because there are no rules or guidelines delineating the factors that the Board should consider, but not to be limited to@ for consideration of clemency.

For all practical purposes, the clemency process seems to be dead. It does not appear that any serious consideration is given. It certainly does not function in the manner that is suggested it should in Herrera.

The clemency process is part and parcel of Florida=s death penalty scheme. All it provides is more arbitrariness.

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