Since the enactment of Florida’s current death penalty statute, our understanding of the full impact of serious mental illness has evolved. Today, with the benefit of science, we know that people with serious mental illness are both inherently less culpable for their actions and more vulnerable in the criminal justice system. They are also less able to understand legal proceedings fully and may make choices that harm their ability to defend themselves.
Ohio recently enacted a law excluding people with serious mental illness from the death penalty. This law received broad public support and was approved based on the evolution of our understanding of severe mental illness. Now it’s time for Florida to do the same.
This action targets three committee chairs who have the power to schedule this bill for a vote. They need to hear that Floridians want this change. This is a critical step – please take this action today.