Florida Senate - 2020                                    SB 1736
       By Senator Broxson
       1-01219A-20                                           20201736__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to criminal proceedings; providing a
    3         short title; amending s. 918.015, F.S.; specifying
    4         speedy trial periods for persons accused as
    5         perpetrators of acts of mass violence; defining terms;
    6         providing for extension of time periods if certain
    7         conditions are met; providing construction; requesting
    8         the Supreme Court to adopt certain rules for the cases
    9         of persons accused as perpetrators of acts of mass
   10         violence concerning speedy trial periods, docketing of
   11         capital appeals, habeas proceedings, and screening of
   12         postconviction claims; amending s. 922.052, F.S.;
   13         requiring the clerk of the Florida Supreme Court to
   14         provide a specified notice to the Governor concerning
   15         persons sentenced to death for incidents of mass
   16         violence; revising requirements for issuance of death
   17         warrants for persons convicted as perpetrators of acts
   18         of mass violence; amending s. 924.056, F.S.; requiring
   19         that the Supreme Court make certain reports concerning
   20         the cases of persons accused as perpetrators of acts
   21         of mass violence; amending s. 27.710, F.S.; conforming
   22         a cross-reference; providing an effective date.
   24  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   26         Section 1. This act may be cited as the “Justice for
   27  Victims of Mass Violence Act.”
   28         Section 2. Section 918.015, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   29  read:
   30         918.015 Right to speedy trial.—
   31         (1)(a) In all criminal prosecutions the state and the
   32  defendant shall each have the right to a speedy trial.
   33         (b)1.A defendant charged with an offense as a perpetrator
   34  of an incident of mass violence shall be brought to trial within
   35  175 days after being taken into custody by the state or 60 days
   36  after being charged with such an offense by indictment or
   37  information, whichever is earlier.
   38         2.As used in this paragraph:
   39         a.The term “incident of mass violence” means an event or
   40  series of events with no intervening cooling-off period which
   41  involve intentional violent criminal acts, including shootings
   42  or acts of terrorism, which:
   43         (I)Target groups of defenseless persons and result in
   44  death or injury to at least four persons.
   45         (II)Cause physical, emotional, or psychological injury to
   46  a community.
   48  An incident of mass violence is often, but need not be, designed
   49  to achieve political, economic, or social objectives.
   50         b.The term “victim” means a person killed or injured
   51  during an incident of mass violence, not including the
   52  perpetrator.
   53         3.The periods of time established in subparagraph 1. may
   54  be extended for exceptional circumstances, provided the period
   55  of time requested to be extended has not expired at the time the
   56  extension was procured. A request for extension under this
   57  subparagraph may not be granted without a hearing at which
   58  victims and their families may be heard. Exceptional
   59  circumstances do not include general congestion of the court’s
   60  docket, lack of diligent preparation, failure to obtain
   61  available witnesses, or other avoidable or foreseeable delays.
   62  Exceptional circumstances are those that, as a matter of
   63  substantial justice to the defendant or the state or both,
   64  require an order by the court. Exceptional circumstances
   65  include:
   66         a.Unexpected illness, unexpected incapacity, or
   67  unforeseeable and unavoidable absence of a person whose presence
   68  or testimony is uniquely necessary for a full and adequate
   69  trial.
   70         b.A showing by the defendant or the state that the case is
   71  so unusual and so complex, because of the number of defendants
   72  or the nature of the prosecution or otherwise, that it is
   73  unreasonable to expect adequate investigation or preparation
   74  within the periods of time established in subparagraph 1.
   75         c.A showing by the defendant or the state that specific
   76  evidence or testimony is not available despite diligent efforts
   77  to secure it, but will become available at a later time.
   78         d.A showing by the defendant or the state of the necessity
   79  for delay grounded on developments that could not have been
   80  anticipated and will materially affect the trial.
   81         e.A showing that a delay is necessary to accommodate a
   82  codefendant, when there is reason not to sever the cases to
   83  proceed promptly with trial of the defendant.
   84         f.A showing by the state that the defendant has caused
   85  major delay or disruption of preparation of proceedings, as by
   86  preventing the attendance of witnesses or otherwise.
   87         4.This paragraph provides no substantive rights for a
   88  defendant if the trial does not commence within the applicable
   89  period. A violation of this paragraph does not provide grounds
   90  to have a conviction or sentence set aside or to create a cause
   91  of action for money damages against the state, a county, a
   92  municipality, or any agency, public official, or employee
   93  thereof.
   94         (2) The Supreme Court shall, by rule of said court, provide
   95  procedures through which the right to a speedy trial as
   96  guaranteed by subsection (1) and by s. 16, Art. I of the State
   97  Constitution, shall be realized. The Supreme Court is requested
   98  to adopt any rules necessary to implement paragraph (1)(b) to
   99  the extent that it is procedural.
  100         Section 3. The Supreme Court is requested to adopt rules
  101  for practice and procedure for all courts to require courts to
  102  give capital appeals and habeas proceedings in cases of
  103  defendants convicted as perpetrators of incidents of mass
  104  violence, as defined in s. 918.015(1)(b)2., Florida Statutes,
  105  priority over all other cases on their dockets.
  106         Section 4. The Supreme Court is requested to create rules
  107  of procedure ensuring that only meritorious claims are
  108  entertained in successive postconviction proceedings in a case
  109  of a defendant convicted as a perpetrator of an incident of mass
  110  violence, as defined in s. 918.015(1)(b)2., Florida Statutes.
  111  The court is requested to consider adopting a rule of procedure
  112  for such cases requiring trial courts to perform an initial
  113  screening of all successive postconviction motions within 30
  114  days after briefing is completed and to summarily dismiss any
  115  successive postconviction motion that clearly contains solely
  116  nonmeritorious claims within 30 days thereafter.
  117         Section 5. Subsection (2) of section 922.052, Florida
  118  Statutes, is amended to read:
  119         922.052 Issuance of warrant of execution.—
  120         (2)(a) The clerk of the Florida Supreme Court shall inform
  121  the Governor in writing certifying that a person convicted and
  122  sentenced to death, before or after the effective date of the
  123  act, has:
  124         1. Completed such person’s direct appeal and initial
  125  postconviction proceeding in state court and habeas corpus
  126  proceeding and appeal therefrom in federal court; or
  127         2. Allowed the time permitted for filing a habeas corpus
  128  petition in federal court to expire.
  129         (b)Notwithstanding paragraph (a), the clerk of the Florida
  130  Supreme Court shall inform the Governor in writing certifying
  131  that a person convicted as a perpetrator of an incident of mass
  132  violence, as defined in s. 918.015(1)(b)2., and sentenced to
  133  death has completed such person’s direct appeal and initial
  134  postconviction proceeding in state court.
  135         (c)(b) Within 30 days after receiving the letter of
  136  certification from the clerk of the Florida Supreme Court, the
  137  Governor shall issue a warrant for execution if the executive
  138  clemency process has concluded, directing the warden to execute
  139  the sentence within 180 days, at a time designated in the
  140  warrant.
  141         (d)(c) If, in the Governor’s sole discretion, the clerk of
  142  the Florida Supreme Court has not complied with the provisions
  143  of paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) with respect to any person
  144  sentenced to death, the Governor may sign a warrant of execution
  145  for such person where the executive clemency process has
  146  concluded.
  147         Section 6. Subsection (1) of section 924.056, Florida
  148  Statutes, is amended to read:
  149         924.056 Capital postconviction proceedings; Reporting
  150  requirements; capital cases; incidents of mass violence.—
  151         (1) The Supreme Court shall annually report to the Speaker
  152  of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate:
  153         (a) The status of each capital case in which a
  154  postconviction action has been filed that has been continuously
  155  pending for more than 3 years. The report must include the name
  156  of the state court judge involved in the case.
  157         (b)The status of each case involving a defendant charged
  158  as a perpetrator of an incident of mass violence, as defined in
  159  s. 918.015(1)(b)2., in which:
  160         1.The defendant was not brought to trial within 175 days
  161  after being taken into custody by the state or within 60 days
  162  after being charged with a crime of mass violence by indictment
  163  or information, whichever is earlier;
  164         2.A continuance was granted by the trial court; or
  165         3.An appeal, habeas petition, postconviction motion, or
  166  successive postconviction motion has been continuously pending
  167  in any court for more than 1 year.
  169  The report shall include the reason for delay in each case.
  170         Section 7. Subsection (5) of section 27.710, Florida
  171  Statutes, is amended to read:
  172         27.710 Registry of attorneys applying to represent persons
  173  in postconviction capital collateral proceedings; certification
  174  of minimum requirements; appointment by trial court.—
  175         (5)(a) Upon the motion of the capital collateral regional
  176  counsel to withdraw pursuant to s. 924.056(1)(a); or
  177         (b) Upon notification by the state attorney or the Attorney
  178  General that:
  179         1. Thirty days have elapsed since appointment of the
  180  capital collateral regional counsel and no entry of appearance
  181  has been filed pursuant to s. 924.056; or
  182         2. A person under sentence of death who was previously
  183  represented by private counsel is currently unrepresented in a
  184  postconviction capital collateral proceeding,
  186  the executive director shall immediately notify the trial court
  187  that imposed the sentence of death that the court must
  188  immediately appoint an attorney, selected from the current
  189  registry, to represent such person in collateral actions
  190  challenging the legality of the judgment and sentence in the
  191  appropriate state and federal courts. The court shall have the
  192  authority to strike a notice of appearance filed by a Capital
  193  Collateral Regional Counsel, if the court finds the notice was
  194  not filed in good faith and may so notify the executive director
  195  that the client is no longer represented by the Office of
  196  Capital Collateral Regional Counsel. In making an assignment,
  197  the court shall give priority to attorneys whose experience and
  198  abilities in criminal law, especially in capital proceedings,
  199  are known by the court to be commensurate with the
  200  responsibility of representing a person sentenced to death. The
  201  trial court must issue an order of appointment which contains
  202  specific findings that the appointed counsel meets the statutory
  203  requirements and has the high ethical standards necessary to
  204  represent a person sentenced to death.
  205         Section 8. This act shall take effect October 1, 2020.