Bernie McCabe, the 69-year-old Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney, had originally said that 2016 would be his swansong in office, but opted for one more four-year term last year, where he was unopposed in his reelection bid.
When Aramis Ayala, his Central Florida counterpart, stunningly announced earlier this year that she would no longer pursue the death penalty in the capital cases that stood before her, McCabe emphatically said he did not agree with her decision.
“I think if you’re going to be the state attorney and you’re sworn to uphold the laws of the state of Florida, you’ve got to do all of them,” McCabe told the News Service of Florida “If you accept this job, you have to accept that the governor can remove you from a case if he thinks that’s in the best interest of justice. That’s just the way it is.”
McCabe did not make the 2016 survey.
Joe Henderson’s Take
“I don’t like the death penalty but it’s on the books. McCabe, in his role as Pasco-Pinellas State Attorney, has what I believe to be an obligation to pursue the ultimate punishment in appropriate situations. After Aramis Ayala said in Orlando she wouldn’t seek the death penalty in high-profile case that seemed to scream for it, McCabe left no doubt that he was not on her side. Point, McCabe.”
For a complete explanation of how this list was created and who made up the panel that amassed it, please read here.