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State Attorney Files Federal Lawsuit Against Florida’s Governor Over Death Penalty

Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala speaks with reporters about her decision to not pursue the death penalty during her administration./ Photo: File, WMFE

Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala speaks with reporters about her decision to not pursue the death penalty during her administration./ Photo: File, WMFE

Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala has filed a federal lawsuit against the governor. The lawsuit comes after Gov. Rick Scott reassigned 23 death penalty cases to a different state attorney.

The governor reassigned the cases after Ayala announced last month that her office would not seek the death penalty in any case.

In the lawsuit, Ayala says the governor violated the constitution by usurping her authority, and deprived voters of their elected state attorney.

“The Governor did not take this drastic step because of any misconduct on Ayala’s part, but simply because he disagreed with her reasoned prosecutorial determination not to seek the death penalty under current circumstances,” the lawsuit states.

Ayala says she called the governor before her announcement, but he ended the call in less than 30 seconds, before she could explain her position.

Ayala announced last month that she would not seek the death penalty against Markeith Loyd, who is accused of killing an Orlando police officer and his pregnant ex-girlfriend. That case was given to Fifth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Brad King, who says he will seek the death penalty against Loyd.


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About Catherine Welch

Catherine Welch

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