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Chief Assistant State Attorney Deborah Barra is Running to Replace Boss State Attorney Aramis Ayala


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Barra says she would continue with Ayala’s death penalty panel-a group of legal experts who determine when the punishment should be pursued. Photo: Danielle Prieur

Barra says she would continue with Ayala’s death penalty panel-a group of legal experts who determine when the punishment should be pursued. Photo: Danielle Prieur


Orange and Osceola County Chief Assistant State Attorney Deborah Barra says she’s running to be state attorney in the Ninth Circuit.

That’s after her boss Aramis Ayala announced she won’t seek re-election.

Ayala cited her opposition to the death penalty as her reason for not seeking re-election. But Barra says she would seek capital punishment in some cases.

Barra says she would continue with Ayala’s death penalty panel-a group of legal experts who determine when the punishment should be pursued.

“I have seen that it is effective. That we have sought the death penalty repeatedly since it’s been enacted. But we have also chosen not to seek the death penalty because it wasn’t appropriate.”

And when the panel approves the death penalty she says it will be pursued.

“There are people out there who fit that harshest penalty category. And it will be used in that manner. It will be used sparingly. But it will be used.”

Ayala was the state’s first African-American state attorney. Assistant State Attorney Ryan Williams and defense attorney Kevin Morenski also have entered the race.

If you’d like to listen to the full story please click on the clip above.


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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter and Substitute Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan and is a graduate of both the University of Michigan and Northwestern ... Read Full Bio »

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