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Gov. Scott Defends Removing Death Penalty Cases From Ayala

Governor Rick Scott.
The Florida Channel
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Governor Rick Scott is defending his decision to remove State Attorney Aramis Ayala from death penalty cases. Attorneys for Scott argue the Florida Supreme Court should dismiss Ayala’s claims that the governor unlawfully moved the cases to another prosecutor.

In court filings, Orlando prosecutor Aramis Ayala said she has discretion as to whether she charges a defendant with the death penalty. She said she won’t ask for it while she’s in office.

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

Scott in response said that’s a promise not to exercise discretion. He also argues he has the power to reassign those cases to make sure justice is done and that he’s not requiring the prosecutors to ask for the death penalty.