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Sgt. Daniel Baker Act: Plan to fast track death penalty cases up for review

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Posted at 7:49 AM, Feb 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 08:49:20-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/AP) — The Senate Judiciary Committee will review a plan that would fast track death penalty cases.

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.

Baker was a Dickson County Sheriff's Deputy when he was killed in the line of duty in 2018.

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

Under current law, death penalty cases are eventually reviewed by the Tennessee Supreme Court. Before that, it's appealed to a lower court.

This bill would get rid of the Court of Appeals review altogether, speeding the process along.

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.