When Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala took office, a huge part of her agenda was to advance criminal justice reform. According to the Washington Post, although Ayala is only two months into her term, she’s feeling the heat from GOP leaders for her refusal to seek the death penalty for Markeith Loyd—a man who was charged with murdering his girlfriend and an Orlando police officer.
From the Washington Post:
Ayala, whose district in Central Florida includes Orange and Osceola counties, announced last month that she would not seek the death penalty in the seven capital murder cases being handled by her office, including the prosecution of 41-year-old Markeith Loyd, who is charged with killing his pregnant girlfriend and an Orlando police officer.
The decision was praised by advocates for criminal justice reform, but it outraged local law enforcement groups and state GOP lawmakers, underscoring the potential political ramifications facing a new crop of reform-minded prosecutors across the country.
Gov. Rick Scott removed Ayala from Loyd’s case, a decision upheld Tuesday by a Florida judge after Ayala fought it in court. Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran has called on Scott to suspend the prosecutor, while the head of the state police union wants her removed from office altogether.
Under a new budget proposal for the state, lawmakers seek to cut more than $1.4 million in funding and 21 jobs at Ayala’s office, reports the outlet.
According to the Washington Post, several judges, prosecutors, and law professors have come to Ayala’s defense claiming that Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s decision to remove her from the Loyd case was an infringement on her prosecutorial duties.
Ayala is Florida’s first elected Black prosecutor.
SOURCE: Washington Post