James Alessi: Family of murdered Boca man has new hope that his killer will be executed

Murdered man's family has new hope in legislation

BOCA RATON, Fla. - The state legislature has had it with lengthy stays on Florida's death row. And now, the governor is weighing a bill that could speed the legal battle over executions.

All Jane Alessi has are pictures of her brother - James Alessi - and hope that his convicted killer will face the penalty prescribed to him in 1979.

"My dad passed away last year and he thought he would see the execution," said Alessi.

But the Alessi family has waited for longer than 28-year-old James' entire life to see Paul Scott die. 

A jury found that Scott beat Alessi to death. 

But appeals, pleas for new lawyers and anger from activist groups who say Scott didn't do it have held things up. 

Four death warrants signed, still no death.

"He gets stays. Nobody gave my brother a chance that night," said Alessi.

Lawmakers have sent legislation to the governor that shortens appeals time and requires the governor to sign death warrants a month after state courts review the case, and that executions occur within six months of the warrant's signing.

"Opponents of this bill say that this basically guarantees innocent people are going to be executed," said NewsChannel5 Legal Analyst Michelle Suskauer. "People have been exonerated who have been on death row."

But Alessi says she's confident that in her brother's case, the right decision has been made. Now she's hoping for closure, after nearly 35 years.

"Eye for an eye tooth for a tooth. Nobody gave my brother a second chance. They wanted to set him up, go there and kill him. And they did," said Alessi.

The bill now awaits signature or veto from Governor Scott.

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