Horne Wants To Speed Up Action On Death Row Appeals

August 13, 2013

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is suing the Justice Department to allow Arizona to participate in a program that brings quicker action on appeals by death row inmates.

Horne says Arizona followed Bush-era rules that shaved about 10 years off the average delay, but that President Barack Obama scrapped them and has yet to draft new ones. Despite concerns that accelerating the execution process might kill an innocent person, Horne says he’s not concerned because of the speed with which DNA can be tested. 

“Even if you shave 10 years off an 18 year delay, that’s an eight year delay which is still very substantial and old cases have DNA coming in a number of years afterwards,” Horne said. “But new cases, people can get DNA testing right away.” 

The Department of Justice says it’s still working on rules for the program and will consider Arizona’s request when they’re finished.

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