Ayala "has made it clear that she will not fight for justice", Scott said in a statement announcing his reassignment of the case to King, who is based in Ocala and has been the circuit's chief prosecutor for almost three decades. "She has made it abundantly clear that she will not fight for justice for Lt. Debra Clayton and our law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day", he said.
"The Florida law gives me the discretion under the statute of pursuing death penalty that I have the discretion of whether or not to seek it", she said. Loyd, 41, is accused of shooting and killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, 24, on December 13 at her home in Pine Hills.
Clayton received word January 9 that Loyd was near a Walmart and tried to confront him.
Joe Burbank/TNS/NewscomAramis Ayala wasn't kidding when she ran and won a position as a prosecutor in Florida on a platform of criminal justice reform. She was given no chance. Then, while on the run after killing the officer, Loyd killed an Orange County sheriff's deputy in a vehicle accident. "The money the state spends on death penalty cases can be saved to prosecute others", McCann said.
Aramis Ayala, state attorney in Orlando and Osceola counties, announced she would not consider the death penalty against anyone charged with first-degree murder.
And the Florida governor's decision to assign a different state attorney to the case is reigniting Florida's death penalty debate yet again, after the law spent a contentious year in court.
Ayala, who represents one of the largest judicial circuits in Florida, said the death penalty is not a deterrent.
'She informed me this afternoon that she refuses to do that.
Similarly, state Attorney General Pam Bondi, also a Republican, said it "sends a risky message" not to seek the death penalty. "My office will thoroughly and painstakingly evaluate each capital offense and seek the death penalty only in the rare cases that are so heinous, atrocious, and undeserving of mercy as to be considered the worst of the worst in our society. It is my responsibility to make a determination whether or not this is justice for this community", she said.
"Attorney Ayala: We stand with you 110 percent", he said.
Ayala's decision comes just days after Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill requiring a unanimous jury recommendation before the death penalty can be imposed.
Sentencing someone to death in Florida costs roughly $2.5 million more than a life sentence of 40 years (the average age of Florida's death row inmates when they commit their crime is about 30), Ayala said, citing figures from the American Bar Association.
Ayala's decision infuriated other state officials, including Attorney General Pam Bondi, drew harsh criticism from law-enforcement organizations and prompted some legislators to call for her ouster.
"I do understand that this is a controversial issue but what is not controversial is the evidence that led me to this decision", she said. He had already met with and built a rapport with the Ayala's team, and was concerned about the lack of closure that might come with a death penalty conviction, which could drag on for years in the appeals process. On Tuesday, March 14, spokeswoman Eryka Washington told the Orlando Sentinel that Ayala's office was still pursuing the death penalty in all six cases.
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