A New Florida Prosecutor Says 'No' to the Death Penalty

Adjust Comment Print

The Florida State Attorney's Office will not seek the death penalty for accused cop killer Markeith Loyd, numerous sources told WFTV on Wednesday night.

Scott's executive order assigns Brad King and orders him to discharge Ayala's duties "as they relate to the investigation, prosecution, and all matters related to Markeith Loyd".

Scott had earlier asked that Ayala should recuse herself from handling Markeith Loyd's case after she announced her office will no longer seek the death penalty in cases. "I've seen the video, so I know the state attorney has seen the video of (Loyd) standing over defenseless and helpless Lt. Debra Clayton and executing her".

Loyd faces two first-degree murder counts and other charges in the deaths of his ex-girlfriend and Lt. Debra Clayton. Ayala said that seeking death is not in the community's best interest "or the best interest of justice".

Echoing Rep. Cortes, Chief Mina said "heinous crimes" such as these "are the very reason we have the death penalty as an option under the law". She added that it also does not provide justice to victim's families, who often get dragged through years of court appeals. 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.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina released a harsh public statement underscoring his vehement disagreement with the decision, but he and other members of OPD are furious.

Her position, which she did not disclose during her campaign, does not match that of the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association.

"While I now do have discretion to pursue death sentences, I have determined that doing so is not in the best interests of this community or in the best interests of justice", Ayala said on Thursday. She was killed by an evil murderer who did not think twice about senselessly ending her life. "It's a lawful and appropriate statute and it's the job of the state attorney to apply the death penalty in what is considered appropriate cases".

"As an organization that represents people of faith, her decision to reject a death penalty system that has been disproportionately used against poor people and communities of color is an act of moral leadership".

Florida's death penalty has run in to what has been called a chaotic situation. It requires juries to vote unanimously in favor of a death sentence, upping the standard from a 10-2 majority.

But Adora Obi Nweze, president Florida State Conference NAACP, said it was a step in the right direction.