Ayala accepts Supreme Court ruling on death cases

- Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala on Friday announced she is moving forward in dealing with death penalty cases, after the Florida Supreme Court ruled against her.

"The Supreme Court has ruled, and as the state attorney, I have a responsibility to follow the law as quickly as I can."

Ayala introduced seven prosecutors who will be part of a Death Penalty Review Board.

"This panel will evaluate each first degree murder case in the 9th Judicial Circuit and make a determination whether and when the death penalty will be sought."

But she said all attorneys on the panel must make a unanimous decision for the death penalty.

"Every member of this panel believes in the death penalty, believes it should be sought and I expect to see unanimous decisions to seek death."

Some victim's families say they don't trust a panel to determine the death penalty in a case. However Ayala says they should, because she's removing herself from the decision.

"I'm prepared to give that power to them to make the determination. I will not be a part of the board."

As some state lawmakers ask for Ayala to step down, she says she'll continue to do her job.

"At this point my focus is this community which I love, my focus is justice and the administration that's intended what I intend to do and that's what we're gonna do now."

State Attorney Ayala says the panel will take effect immediately.
 

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