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10-Juror Death Penalty Changes Head To Governor

Nick Evans

A new capital sentencing system is on its way to the governor.  Wednesday the Senate agreed ten of twelve jurors must concur for the death penalty.

Last month House and Senate leaders agreed on a 10-juror threshold for the death penalty—a compromise between the unanimous or nine vote requirements where the debate began.  But some Senators like Kissimmee Democrat Darren Soto were hesitant to give up on unanimity right until the end.

“I’m glad that this bill will now make us now finally not the outlier in the death penalty,” Soto says, “that it will finally require at least ten jurors in order to levy the ultimate penalty and sanction in our criminal justice system. And I’m planning on supporting the bill.”

But Florida is still something of an outlier.  Of the 31 remaining death penalty states only three don’t require unanimity.