A blog by Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Brian Tannebaum. Commenting on criminal law issues of local and national interest.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Speed Is Justice For All

A great editorial in the St Petersburg Times viewed here criticizes the sure passage of the Streamlined Procedures Act of 2005.

I know, you're saying, "not the Streamlined Procedures Act of 2005 again?!"

This legislation takes away the right of felons convicted in state court from seeking redress in federal court.

The Times says "this assault on due process should be stopped in its tracks." I agree.

According to the Times, "supporters of the Streamlined Procedures Act of 2005 say that changes are needed to move along executions and make the court system more efficient.

What the legislation does is reduce federal habeas corpus review and prohibit federal courts from addressing whether defendants constitutional rights were violated in state court.

So, as the Times says "the act would expedite executions, but it also would make it nearly impossible for people whose convictions resulted from incompetent counsel, fabricated evidence or a racially stacked jury from seeking redress in the federal courts. It would make claims of actual innocence extremely hard to bring, increasing the risk of error and speeding along the execution of those who didn't do it."

Killing innocent people? Don't bring that up again. That's like talking about your crazy uncle again.

The Times reports that according to the Death Penalty Information Center, more than 100 death row inmates have been exonerated as innocent of their crimes since the mid 1970s. I know, you don't care. They're all guilty.

The Times closes by saying that "these measures are highly destructive to this nation's traditional due process guarantees. They would replace accuracy with speed, and justice with notches on a belt. A bad trade all around."

That's a great new slogan for the idiots supporting this garbage:

Instead of "Liberty, and Justice for All" -

"Speed, is Justice For All.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:51 PM

    I am glad to see that you are writing about the Streamlined Procedures Act. I work for The Justice Project, a nonpartisan organization that seeks to address unfairness and inaccuracy in the American criminal justice system, and our Campaign for Criminal Justice Reform opposes this bill as well. There is more information on our web page on the legislation at http://www.thejusticeproject.org/habeas. We keep it updated with information on the status of the legislation in the House and Senate, letters, testimony and editorials from a broad coalition of bill opponents and more.

    The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security will be holding its second hearing on the bill this coming Thursday, November 10th at 10am. It is critical that constituents in key Subcommittee districts (CA-35, IN-6, MA-5, MA-10, NC-6, NY-9, OH-1, TX-1, TX-18, VA-3, WI-8) contact their representatives prior to this hearing to voice their opposition to the legislation. Constituents can SEND A FREE FAX to their representatives through our website at http://ga3.org/campaign/habeashouse.

    The Streamlined Procedures Act is also on the legislative agenda of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and constituents in CA, DE, IL, KS, MA, NY, OH, PA, SC, VT or WI can also send a free fax to their Senator through our website at http://ga3.org/campaign/habeas. If you oppose the legislation but do not live in one of these key districts, please consider passing this information on to friends and family who do. Thank you again for posting on this issue!

    JoAnna S. Moskal