On Thursday, Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala announced that she will not seek the death penalty in any case under her administration. This resulted in the State Governor Rick Scott asking for her to recuse herself from the Markeith Loyd case, where a man is accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend and police officer.
Governor Scott says that he completely disagrees with State Attorney Ayala’s decision and that it would not allow her to fight for the justice that law enforcement officers deserve when putting their lives on the line every day. Local central Floridian law enforcement leaders are also unhappy with her decision and urge her to change her mind
“I have seen the video of Markeith Loyd executing Lt. Debra Clayton while she lay defenseless on the ground. She was given no chance to live. A cop killer — who also killed his pregnant girlfriend — should not be given that chance,” Orlando police Chief John Mina said in a statement posted to Twitter. “The heinous crimes that he committed in our community are the very reason we have the death penalty as an option under the law.” In making her announcement, Ayala referenced a bill passed Tuesday that will require a unanimous jury recommendation before the death penalty can be imposed.
“I have determined doing so is not in the best interest of this community or in the best interest of justice,” Ayala said. “By choosing to seek life sentences over death, we can assure that violent offenders will never be released. They will never continue to drain resources from this state with decades of appeals.”