Florida Gov. Takes 21 More Cases From State Attorney Ayala
Gov. Rick Scott has reassigned 21 murder cases from state attorney Aramis Ayala’s office over her refusal to seek the death penalty.
Through executive orders, the governor moved 21 first degree murder cases over to 5th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Brad King.
The move is in reaction to Ayala’s announcement last month that her office will not only refuse to seek the death penalty against Markeith Loyd, but in any other case. Loyd is accused of killing an Orlando police officer and his pregnant ex-girlfriend.
In a statement Gov. Scott said Ayala’s announcement “sends an unacceptable message that she is not interested in considering every available option in the fight for justice.” Families of murder victims have voiced support for Ayala’s decision.
In a statement, Ayala said the governor did not give her official notice.
"Ms. Ayala remains steadfast in her position the Governor is abusing his authority and has compromised the independence and integrity of the criminal justice system."
Proposed legislation in Tallahassee removes $1 million from Ayala’s office to pay for cases moved to other circuits.
Editor's Note: This story was updated at 4:50pm to include the state attorney's statement