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Florida prosecutors rebuke Orlando state attorney, promise to continue seeking death penalty

Florida prosecutors rebuke Orlando state attorney, promise to continue seeking death penalty

She said the blanket decision to not pursue the death penalty includes the recent case of Markeith Loyd. And now she's making national news for refusing to ask for the death penalty in the case of a man charged with murdering his pregnant ex-girlfriend and subsequently an Orlando police officer.

Ayala's unusual stance surprised angered many, including her city's police chief.

The law is the state's latest effort to restart its death penalty process, which was put on hold twice past year after rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Florida Supreme Court in separate cases.

The tumult over Ayala came on the same day a House committee overwhelmingly approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would give the Legislature the ability to impeach state attorneys and public defenders, a power now limited to the removal of the governor, the lieutenant governor, Florida Cabinet members and judges.

The court filing said the case is not suitable for prosecution.

"I have seen the video of Markieth Loyd executing Lt. Debra Clayton while she lay defenseless on the ground".

"Let me be very clear, however", said Ayala, who was elected last Fall.

In Ayala's case, hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds - some reportedly from Soros - went right down the drain along with her position.

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




Ayala raised issues regarding the legality of Florida's death penalty statute during a press conference this week, saying it has twice been ruled unconstitutional in less than a year and has been the cause of "considerable legal chaos, uncertainty and turmoil". The governor recently signed into law a requirement that juries be unanimous when recommending the death penalty.

The father of a murder victim is calling for a prosecutor in Florida to resign after she announced her office would no longer seek the death penalty in any case.

Through an executive order, the case was handed off to State Attorney Brad King, a prosecutor in a neighboring district northwest of Orlando.

Osceola-Orange County State Attorney Aramis Ayala said Thursday that the death penalty is "not in the best interest of the community or the best interest of justice" in a news conference.

Her decision not to seek a death sentence was praised by groups that have opposed the death penalty.

"I offered to have a full conversation with him regarding my decision about death penalty", she said.

Florida governor Rick Scott has rebuked Orlando's top prosecutor and transferred from her authority a case involving the slaying of a police officer after she announced her opposition to the death penalty. Bob Cortes, R-Altamonte Springs, said they believe Ayala violated the public trust and the spirit of the state's criminal laws by not seeking to have an accused cop killer put to death. She was given no chance. Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton was shot four times outside an Orlando Walmart in January after she received a tip that Loyd was at the store.

"I have given this issue extensive, painstaking thought and consideration", she said.

Dixon's father, Ron Daniels, seemed to support Ayala, despite her decision. "I urge her to consider the wishes of the victims' families and try these cases with death as the penalty". "She didn't say, 'I'm exercising my discretion given the particular facts of this case.' She said, 'Under no circumstances do I feel it's appropriate to seek the death penalty.' That is not her role to play".

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