Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Tag archive

capital punishment

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…

Keep Reading

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…

Keep Reading

House raises eyebrows by arguing prosecutors have no discretion on death penalty

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

In a friend of the court brief bound to raise state attorneys’ eyebrows throughout Florida, the Florida House is arguing that prosecutors have no discretion with regard to capital punishment, that the state Legislature’s intent was to rest all discretion with juries. The House filed the brief in the Florida Supreme Court case of Orlando’s State Attorney Aramis Ayala versus Gov. Rick Scott. The issues, in that case, are whether prosecutorial discretion gives Ayala the power to refuse all capital punishment prosecutions,…

Keep Reading

Florida Speaker: Suspend prosecutor who nixes death penalty

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran has called on the governor to suspend a prosecutor for pledging to not seek the death penalty in any case while she is in office. Corcoran said Thursday that Orlando State Attorney Aramis Ayala was “violating the constitution” because she is not even considering the death penalty. Capital punishment is authorized under the Florida Constitution. Corcoran added that if Florida lawmakers had the power to impeach Ayala, they would already be doing so. Gov. Rick…

Keep Reading

Florida prosecutors can seek death penalty despite questions

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida prosecutors can seek the death penalty in ongoing cases despite a state Supreme Court ruling that found a new death penalty law unconstitutional. The court ruled Monday that the death penalty can be applied as long as there is a unanimous jury recommendation. The court ruled last October that a new state law requiring at least a 10-2 jury recommendation is unconstitutional. But Monday it said other aspects of the law are constitutional and prosecutors can proceed in capital…

Keep Reading

Unanimous jury bill unanimously OK’d in House

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A bill requiring a unanimous jury recommendation for a death sentence was unanimously cleared by a House panel Wednesday. The Criminal Justice Subcommittee OK’d the bill (HB 527) by Rep. Chris Sprowls, a Palm Harbor Republican. But the approval was after several public comments that the legislation didn’t go far enough to truly overhaul the state’s capital punishment system. In 2016, the Legislature passed and Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill requiring at least 10 of the 12 members of a jury…

Keep Reading

Bill on unanimous jury for death sentence clears first panel

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A bill requiring a unanimous jury recommendation for a death sentence was OK’d by a Senate panel Monday. The legislation (SB 280) was cleared unanimously by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. It’s sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Randolph Bracy of Ocoee, the panel’s chair. Monday’s vote comes as a staff analysis said death penalty cases in Florida “have essentially ground to a halt.” In 2016, the Legislature passed and Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill requiring at least 10 of the 12…

Keep Reading

1 2 3
Go to Top