Horne plans to sue Federal Government if they don't expedite capital cases

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Tom Horne By Catherine Holland Tom Horne By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced Thursday that he plans to sue the Federal Government if they don’t expedite their handling of capital cases.

Horne said he will file a lawsuit if the government doesn’t approve within 90 days Arizona’s application to qualify for expedited review of capital cases.

Horne notes that it’s important to not force the families of victims to suffer while they wait for justice to be done.

“The studies show that families suffer from something like Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and can heal faster if they see justice done within a reasonable period of time,” said Horne. “If they are victimized a second time by endless delays in the Federal Courts, that adds to their pain.”

Horne points out that in the last seven capital cases Federal Habeas Corpus has delayed justice being done by 10 to 13 years.

Should Arizona receive expedited status, the Federal District Court would have to act within 450 days and the Court of Appeals would have to act within 120 days of the filing of the last reply brief. 

To read Horne’s full letter to Federal Attorney General Eric Holder click here.