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Florida Democrat Files Bill To Kill State's Death Penalty

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – It's illegal in 17 states, and a new bill by a House Democrat would make it illegal in Florida.

A measure (HB 4005) to end the death penalty in Florida was filed Friday by Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee, the News Service of Florida reports.

Rehwinkel Vasilinda said in a statement that the death penalty is not cost-effective and doesn't deter crime.

"When you analyze the numbers, state-sponsored execution is not the correct answer," said Rehwinkel Vasilinda, who said the state spends more than $50 million a year on death penalty cases.

That, she said, would pay for 450 new police officers and allow upgraded law enforcement technology. "Life without parole is a sensible alternative to the death penalty," she said.

In 2011, a South Florida federal judge ruled the death penalty was unconstitutional. Attorney General Pam Bondi said that decision was erroneously applied and questioned the federal court's right to interpret Florida law.

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