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Insanity at the Florida Legislature
– Stop HB 1831 / SB 2576
What will they think of next?
HB 1831/SB 2576 is an absolutely unnecessary piece of legislation, because we already execute mentally ill people in Florida. But here they go, wasting valuable time in the legislature on something as crazy as trying to un-retard retarded people, or making sure we medicate insane prisoners so that they are sane enough to exterminate. You have to wonder if the sponsors of this bill are themselves retarded, or perhaps insane. Or maybe they are just opportunistic politicians just out for the vengeance vote?
On Mental Retardation, HB 1831/SB 2576 assumes that through training a mentally retarded individual can become no longer mentally retarded. The mentally retarded are exempt from execution under the U.S. Constitution. The bills insidious agenda takes mentally retarded death row inmates and trains themapparently through repetitive administration of I.Q. testsuntil familiarity with the tests invalidly raises their scores above the mentally retarded level. Then the state reclassifies them as no longer retarded and available for execution. Such repetitive testing creates major ethical dilemmas because the artificially raised test scores do not reflect an individuals I.Q., but rather show the effect of practice. Florida citizens must refuse to allow such games of political semantics when human life is at stake.
On Mental Illness, HB 1831/SB 2576 provides that when an inmate is so seriously mentally ill that he cannot be executed, state employed doctors, psychologists, nurses and social workers will be required to spend their time getting him well enough to be killed by the state. The ethical dilemmas alone make this bill untenable, and it requires professionals who are supposed to be helping and healing people do their work just so the state can then kill them. With resources so scarce for treatment of mental illness, is this the best our society can do when confronted with severely mentally ill citizens who need to be kept away from the general community because they are ill?
HB 1831 Inmates Under Sentence of Death
GENERAL BILL by Criminal Justice Committee and Kravitz
Inmates Under Sentence of Death: Provides for procedures when a person >under sentence of death is alleged to be insane; requires the Department of Children and Family Services to supply a treatment team to evaluate and treat the person; requires a report to the Governor within a specified time; authorizes the Governor to appoint a commission to reexamine the person; provides that if the Governor determines that the person has regained the mental capacity to understand the nature of the death penalty, the Governor shall lift the stay and proceed with the execution; provides that an inmate is not incompetent because the inmate needs psychotropic medication to be competent; provides for committing an inmate under sentence of death to the Department of Children and Family Services or the Agency for Persons with Disabilities for treatment or training; requires the Department of Children and Family Services or the Agency for Persons with Disabilities to provide treatment or training services at a place designated by the Department of Corrections; provides for involuntary treatment of an inmate found not to be competent to proceed who refuses to give express and informed consent to the treatment or training; provides procedures for emergency and nonemergency situations; provides for a hearing.
Effective Date: upon becoming a law.
Last Action: Added to Justice Council agenda on Thursday, April 14, 2005 2:28 PM
This bill will be heard at the committee meeting of the so-called “Justice Council” in the House of Representatives on Monday, April 18, at 4:30pm.
The members of this committee are listed at http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/committees_detail.aspx?id=2263
If you go to that page, and click on the name of any of the members of the committee, it takes you to that Representative’s web page.
Please take a few minutes RIGHT NOW to call and e-mail as many of them as you can, with the following message (in your own words):
“I am calling to ask you to OPPOSE HB 1831. This bill is counter to the “Culture of Life” that George Bush wants us all to build in the United States. Respect life – ALL life. Thank you.”
Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
2603 NW 13th St (AKA Dr. MLK Jr. Hwy)
Gainesville, FL 32609
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