News Worms
News Worms

Gov. reassigns case after prosecutor refuses death penalty

Markeith Loyd is accused of the shooting deaths of his ex-girlfriend in December and Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton in January.

Even Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.

"I would love for him to die right now, but that's not going to happen", she says.

Brinkley said that makes prosecuting these cases even more hard.

"Some victims will support and some will surely oppose my decision, but I have learned that death penalty traps many victim's families in decades long cycle of uncertainty", she said.

Just days after a new state law went into effect allowing prosecutors to once again pursue death sentences, State Attorney Aramis Ayala said she did not believe it was an effective deterrent and that it causes too much pain for victims' families. Scott transferred the case to State Attorney Brad King in a neighboring district northwest of Orlando.

The US Supreme Court struck down Florida's death-sentencing scheme a year ago that reduces the jury's role to an advisory one and gives judges too much power, the Washington Post reports. The law now requires a unanimous jury recommendation for death. "Neither describe the death penalty in this state".

Ayala cited numerous problems with the death penalty - on hold for more than a year statewide because of court rulings - as the rationale for her decision, which she said she reached after "extensive and painstaking thought and consideration".

A political action committee associated with George Soros has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on television commercials and other advertising to get Aramis Ayala elected state attorney in the Orlando-based 9th Judicial Circuit.

Ayala's announcement came the same week Scott chose to restore the death penalty as a prosecutorial tool, the Orlando Sentinel reported. The Fair Punishment Project called her choice "refreshing".

Speaking to a reporter after a Q&A session for his annual Neighborhood & Community Summit at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Dyer said Ayala overstepped her bounds by refusing to consider the death penalty.

The special prosecutor who took over Loyd's case Thursday said he has not made a decision whether he will seek a death sentence. "Other prosecutors would be wise to follow her lead".

'By choosing to seek life sentences over death, we can assure that violent offenders will never be released, ' said Ayala. At the time, the law said only seven of 12 jurors needed to recommend a death sentence.

Prominent members of law enforcement in the Orlando community also weighed in against Ayala's move.

Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., said Ayala's "acknowledgment that the death penalty system is irreparably broken puts her at the forefront of smart-on-crime prosecutors", according to a statement. It is refreshing to see her live up to her commitments and embrace policies that achieve accountability and safety without sacrificing fairness. "A cop killer - who also killed his pregnant girlfriend should not be given a chance", Mina said in his statement. "It is for the most heinous crimes and, by any stretch of the imagination, what Markeith Loyd did deserves the death penalty".

Mina said Thursday that he backed Scott's decision. One of Demings's deputies, Norm Lewis, was killed in a vehicle accident while responding to Clayton's shooting.

Despite the severe backlash, Ayala maintains that the death penalty doesn't provide justice to victims' families, who are often dragged through years and years of court appeals. "It is my responsibility to make a determination whether or not this is justice for this community", she said.


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