THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF FLORIDA
540 Beverly Court, Tallahassee, FL 32301-2506
Voice: 850/224-2545 Fax: 850/222-4485 E-mail: [email protected]
STATEMENT of MARY BERGLUND for THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF FLORIDA, TO THE GOVERNORS COMMISSION ON THE ADMINISTRATION OF LETHAL INJECTIONS on FEBRUARY 19, 2007, TAMPA, FLORIDA
With 27 Leagues spread through out the state, The League of Women Voters of Florida is a non partisan organization that studies issues and promotes political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government.
The League works to build citizen participation in the democratic process and enables people to seek positive solutions to public policy issues through a process of study, consensus, and advocacy.
The League holds that transparent government policies and procedures are an integral part of good government. An informed electorate is the bedrock of a healthy democracy.
The League of Women Voters of Florida welcomes the public meetings of the Governors Commission on the Administration of Lethal Injection. These open meetings are a positive step forward in an area that has been shielded from public and professional scrutiny and review.
Lethal injection was exempted from the Administrative Procedures Act. Florida Statute 922.105 states, The policies and procedures of the Department of Corrections for persons sentenced to death shall be exempt from chapter 120. Chapter 120 is the Administrative Procedures Act.
The League maintains that all state programs should be administered with accountability and oversight. Whenever possible, actions and decisions by our state agencies should be open for public scrutiny and review.
We ask that you recommend to the Governor that the policies and procedures of the Department of Corrections for the administration of lethal injection no longer be exempted from the Administrative Procedures Act. Open government is a right too essential to be ignored on an issue of this importance. All your efforts here will be for nothing if the curtain of secrecy once again descends on state executions.
The League of Women Voters has long been an advocate for openness in government at all levels. This includes promoting an open governmental system that is representative, accountable and responsive, which assures opportunities for public participation, and which ensures a citizens right to know.
As Governor Charlie Crist recently said, Respecting the public trust that is bestowed on all of us who serve the people of Florida is a top priority for me and for my administration.”
The League of Women Voters of Florida encourages that priority.