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Death Penalty In Florida

A site dedicated to examining issues unique to Florida's use of the death penalty.

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Florida Leads Nation in Number Sentenced to Death

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Florida Death Penalty Statistics

While Florida does not lead the nation in the number of executions performed--Texas has that honor--it does lead the nation in the number of people sentenced to death. Many were sentenced under laws that have now been declared unconstitutional because, at the time, laws only required either a majority of jurors--or later, ten out of twelve--to vote for death. These laws were struck down by the federal court system. Now, all twelve jurors must vote for death in order for an inmate to receive a death sentence.

A prisoner in Florida who has spent 28 years on death row has had his murder conviction and death sentence overturned after DNA evidence destroyed the prosecution case used against him almost three decades ago. Paul Hildwin, 54, will remain on death row as he waits to find out whether the Florida authorities intend to prosecute him for a second time after the state’s supreme court vacated his conviction and sentence and ordered a retrial. In a 5-2 ruling, the majority of the court said that “we cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that a significant pillar of the state’s case, as presented to the jury, has collapsed.”


This same article notes that 24 Florida inmates sentenced to death have been exonerated--more than any other state.

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