Tennessee mulls 1 less court review before executions

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By JONATHAN MATTISE
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – As Tennessee ramps up executions, the Republican-led Legislature is considering eliminating one state court’s death sentence reviews.

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Legislation named for fallen Dickson County Sheriff’s Sgt. Daniel Baker would provide automatic state Supreme Court death penalty reviews, skipping Tennessee’s Court of Criminal Appeals.

Prosecutors have said they’re seeking death sentences for two people awaiting trial in Baker’s May fatal shooting. His cruiser was set on fire with his body inside.

The bill’s supporters include House Speaker Glen Casada and Senate Speaker Randy McNally, who said justice delayed 20 and 30 years isn’t justice at all.

In 2017, a public defenders group estimated saving less than a year under the change.

Jeff Cherry of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, which opposes the bill, said it’s better to get the right result than a fast result.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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