A Knight’s news service article Wednesday reviewed death penalty issues, focusing on the “Streamlined Procedures Act” now in Congress. House & Senate versions are the same.
“The legislation,” the article states, “would dramatically change what is known as habeas corpus review, protections against violations of constitutional rights that date back to the Civil War. In most instances, those changes would prevent habeas corpus review by federal judges unless there is firm proof of innocence, particularly difficult because in many cases such evidence isn’t unearthed until appeals reach federal court.”
In addition to the “Streamlined Procedures Act,” there are several other death penalty bills pending in Congress, including Senate Bill 122, which would abolish the death penalty for federal offenses altogether and commute those already sentenced to death to terms of life imprisonment without parole.