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Gov. Scott Reassigns 21 Death Penalty Cases

Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala speaks with reporters about her decision to not pursue the death penalty during her administration.
Renata Sago

In a series of executive orders, Florida Governor Rick Scott has reassigned 21 death penalty cases in ninth judicial circuit.  The state attorney there is refusing to pursue capital punishment.

Gov. Scott is handing nearly two dozen capital cases to State Attorney Brad King—reassigning them from State Attorney Aramis Ayala’s circuit.  The move represents a further escalation in an ongoing spat between Florida’s top Republicans and the Orlando area prosecutor. 

The new attorney, Brad King, is an outspoken proponent of capital punishment and represents the judicial circuit northwest of Ayala’s. 

Both the House and Senate budget proposals cut 21 positions from Ayala’s office in the wake of her decision not to pursue the death penalty.