County Attorney sends letter to Alberto Gonzales on ridiculous death penalty appeals


One killer has been on Arizona’s death row nearly THIRTY years.

In Arizona, the average death penalty case takes 19 years from date of the crime to the execution! There is no excuse for that other than permissive judges and the defense bar, which is composed of liberals who make up new found “constitutional” rights as they go, writing them into the statutes and rules.

County Attorney Supports Streamlined Federal Death Penalty Appeals

Encourages U.S. Attorney General Gonzales To Adopt New Regulations

County Attorney Andrew Thomas today sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales urging adoption of the proposed regulations for the implementation of the Streamline Procedures Act. The act is intended to streamline the federal appeals process for inmates who are on death row.

The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act was passed in 1996 to address unreasonably long delays by the federal courts in ruling on death penalty cases. Among other changes, the law placed strict limits on the amount of time that federal judges had to rule on cases involving killers on death row, provided that states took certain steps to ensure that death row inmates received adequate counsel in post-conviction proceedings. However, the law required that certification be granted by the very federal circuit courts which were already tying up the process.

In the case of Arizona, the Ninth Circuit did not grant certification. The Streamlined Procedures Act amended the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act so that the United States Attorney General decides whether a state qualifies for certification, with appeals going directly to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Although Arizona law provides for capital punishment and Maricopa County juries impose it in the vast majority of the cases they decide, endless delays in appeals have made the death penalty an empty threat to would-be murderers,” said Mr. Thomas. “Murderers routinely spend not years, but decades on death row before their sentence is carried out. The victims, their surviving loved ones, and the citizens of this state deserve justice. The Streamline Procedures Act and the implementing regulations will help restore some balance to the system.”

In Arizona, the average length of time between a death row inmate’s crime and execution is nineteen years. Much of the delay stems from lengthy proceedings in both the U.S. district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. There are currently 113 people on death row in Arizona, the majority of whom were prosecuted by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

One killer has been on Arizona’s death row nearly thirty years.

Arizona Political Heat has posted the letter here.

Leave a Reply