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Markeith Loyd

Court grills Aramis Ayala lawyer over avoidance of death penalty

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A dubious-sounding Florida Supreme Court shellacked Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala‘s lawyer during oral arguments Wednesday, questioning her prosecutorial “discretion” in not seeking the death penalty. “I don’t even see a gray area,” Justice R. Fred Lewis said. “It seems to me that ‘discretion’ is not to ignore Florida law.” Justice Barbara Pariente also raised concerns over “equal enforcement of the death penalty statute,” suggesting that Ayala created a legal oasis in which murderers will never face the ultimate punishment. Ayala, elected…

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Rick Scott, Aramis Ayala fight heads to state high court

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Does Florida’s governor have the power to take away a prosecutor’s case if he disagrees with a decision not to seek the death penalty? The state’s highest court will hear arguments Wednesday over that question in a legal fight between Gov. Rick Scott and State Attorney Aramis Ayala, whose district covers the Orlando area. Their fight began in March when Ayala, a Democrat, said her office would no longer seek the death penalty, explaining the process is costly, it’s not…

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Aramis Ayala files challenges of Rick Scott with Florida Supreme Court, federal court

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Arguing Gov. Rick Scott had no legal basis to strip murder cases from her jurisdiction, Orlando’s State Attorney Aramis Ayala filed challenges Tuesday morning in both the Florida Supreme Court and federal court. In complaints filed by her attorney, Roy Austin Jr. of Washington D.C., Ayala contends that she legally exercised prosecutorial discretion in deciding not to pursue death penalty prosecutions in the 9th Judicial Circuit. Ayala was not found by guilty of any misconduct. Consequently, Ayala argues that Scott’s executive…

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Rick Scott says decisions related to Aramis Ayala ‘nothing to do with politics’

in 2017/Top Headlines by

In Jacksonville Tuesday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott discussed his ongoing war with State Attorney Aramis Ayala. In March, Scott took the Markeith Loyd murder case away from Ayala, due to her reluctance to pursue the death penalty for the cop killer. In April, Scott scored another pre-emptive strike: reassigning 21 first-degree murder cases that “represent a horrific loss of life.” “State Attorney Ayala’s complete refusal to consider capital punishment for the entirety of her term sends an unacceptable message that she is not interested in…

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Legislative Black Caucus says it supports Aramis Ayala

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The leader of Florida’s black lawmakers Thursday said Gov. Rick Scott would not have stripped Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala of the Markeith Loyd murder case had she been a white Republican. “Absolutely not,” Sen. Perry Thurston, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat, told reporters at a news conference in the Capitol. Ayala, a Democrat, is black. Members of the Legislative Black Caucus decried Scott’s decision to remove Ayala from the case, in which she decided not to pursue the death penalty. Loyd is charged with killing Sade…

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Julianne Holt expresses concerns about Rick Scott’s benching of Aramis Ayala

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

After Rick Scott removed Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala from the case of accused cop killer Markeith Loyd, she announced she would not pursue the death penalty in his or any other case during her tenure. Later, Dover House Republican Ross Spano called on Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren to condemn Ayala’s actions.  Warren refused, saying that he would seek out the death penalty only in “rare cases that are so heinous, atrocious, and undeserving of mercy as to be considered the worst of the worst in our society.” At the Tampa…

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Joe Henderson: Aramis Ayala should follow law in death penalty case, not try to make it

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I’m not a big fan of the death penalty. I think having condemned inmates spend 20 years or more on death row while their appeals play out thwarts the argument that is a deterrent. Inmate Douglas R. Meeks, for example, has been awaiting execution since March 21, 1975. He is one of 16 inmates who have been on Florida’s death row since the 1970s. And keeping inmates locked up 23 ½ a day in a cramped cell with no air…

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