FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 31, 2017
Breaking News: Aramis Ayala will hold a Press Conference Friday September 1st at 11:00am in front of the Orange County Courthouse 425 N. Orange Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32801. Community invited.
TALLAHASSEE, FL — On Thursday, August 31, The Florida Supreme Court denied Ninth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Aramis Ayala’s petition for return of potential death penalty cases removed from her jurisdiction by Executive Order of Gov. Rick Scott. The State Attorney’s office handles cases in Orange and Osceola Counties. Ayala has announced the formation of a Death Penalty Review Panel. Read more here.
Responding to the ruling, Mark Elliott, director of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty stated:
“Today’s ruling does not deny the truth of Aramis Ayala’s criticisms of Florida’s chaotic and fatally-flawed death penalty: that it’s much harder on victim’s families, wastes precious crime-fighting dollars, and does nothing to make Floridians and their families safer. FADP supports the initial decision of State Attorney Aramis Ayala as both smart and tough on crime.”
“State Attorney Ayala demonstrated her steadfast devotion to the safety and well-being of Florida families by shifting the focus to bringing more criminals to justice and preventing violent crimes. Expensive, wasteful, and time-consuming death penalty show trials do nothing to prevent violent crime or help victim’s families in immediate and meaningful ways.”
“Death penalty trials squander huge amounts of limited criminal justice dollars. Trying to obtain death sentences and resentences could cost Florida taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars over and above the cost of sentencing those same people to life in prison with no parole.”
Court records indicate that in the eight years prior to Ayala’s taking office, her jurisdiction had a total of one new death sentence – Bessman Okafor, November 17, 2015. The previous death sentence was for Dane Abdool, May 12, 2008.
“Only one new death sentence in eight years refutes the arguments of Gov. Scott that using the death penalty is critical for justice. It makes no sense that, only now, not using death sentencing by policy or practice creates an emergency and is ‘good and sufficient reason’ to reassign cases.”
Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
FADP is a non-profit and non-partisan Florida organization of individuals and groups united to abolish the Death Penalty in Florida.