Families React To Prosecutor’s Decision Not To Seek Death Penalty
The mother of one of the victims of a suspect in the killing of a police officer in Florida says she supports the State Attorney’s decision not to seek the death penalty in any case.
Stephanie Dixon-Daniels said Friday that having the death penalty on the table in Markeith Loyd’s case would drag out the process for her family. She spoke at a news conference outside the Orange County Court along with other supporters of State Attorney Aramis Ayala’s decision.
Loyd’s case is perhaps the most high-profile case affected by Ayala’s decision not to seek the death penalty.
Loyd is charged with killing police Lt. Debra Clayton, as well as Dixon-Daniels’ daughter, Sade Dixon, who was Loyd’s pregnant ex-girlfriend.
After Ayala announced her decision Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott transferred the case from her authority to another State Attorney in a neighboring district.
Earlier in the day, though, others spoke out against the decision. Rafael Zaldivar’s son was murdered by Bessman Okafor. The jury was not unanimous in Okafor’s death sentence, so his case will go back to Ayala.
Zaldivar wants a special state attorney appointed for his son’s case.
“(Ayala) took an oath,” Zaldivar said. “And right now I have no confidence. She should resign and somebody else should take her place right now. If she wants to change the law, run for office.”
Zaldivar said he understands that some families will want life in prison.
“I respect that, that’s fine,” he said. “Some families feel that way. They don’t want to go through what I’m going through. But I don’t mind waiting. I don’t mind waiting until this guy is seven feet, six feet under. It doesn’t matter to me. I want him in the box.”
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