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ACLU Florida: Duval County Should Create Death Penalty Review Panel

Michael Coghlan
Wikimedia Commons

The death penalty will be the focus of a panel discussion Tuesday night in Jacksonville’s Springfield neighborhood.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida is joining advocacy group Justice-4-Jacksonville to release new recommendations for reforming Duval County’s application of capital punishment.

The groups are hoping to drum up public support for a new taskforce to advise State Attorney Angela Corey.

ACLU Florida attorney Adam Tebrugge is calling on Duval County to create a death-penalty review panel. Made up of defense attorneys, prosecutors and members of a victim’s family, the panel would recommend whether to sentence a convicted murderer to death.

Keyontay Humphries is an organizer with Justice 4 Jacksonville.

“The ACLU will be releasing tonight at the event a policy paper relative to how state attorneys seek the death penalty — the use of that process. Most folks don't realize that power lies in the hands of the state attorney,” she said.

State Attorney Angela Corey, who’s running for re-election, has been criticized for what some see as an eagerness to seek the death penalty.

Most recently, she moved forward with a death penalty case even after the mother of slain Jacksonville store clerk Shelby Farah pleaded for leniency, as reported by our news partner, News4Jax.

Duval County has the largest number of death row inmates in the country, according the Death Penalty Information Center

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.