Fla. House panel votes to keep death penalty

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Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2013 4:21 pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida lawmakers are rejecting calls to scrap the death penalty in the state.

A Florida House panel on Thursday voted down a bill that called for the end of capital punishment. Florida currently has more than 400 inmates on Death Row - the second highest total in the nation.

Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee, and sponsor of the bill (HB 4005) said the death penalty is too costly and is wrong for moral and ethical reasons. She also questioned whether it is a crime deterrent.

But other legislators defended the use of capital punishment.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, called the death penalty essential to public safety and justice in the state.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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