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Gov. Rick Scott Reassigns Murder Case After State Attorney Wouldn’t Seek Death Penalty

Gov. Rick Scott Reassigns Murder Case After State Attorney Wouldn’t Seek Death Penalty

“If there was any a case for the death penalty, this is the case.”

Florida Governor Rick Scott has decided to reassign the Markeith Loyd case, the man accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend and a police officer, after State Attorney Aramis Ayala decided not to seek the death penalty. An executive order handed the case to Fifth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Brad King.

The decision today caused outrage in Florida, especially from Orlando Police Chief John Mina:

“If there was any a case for the death penalty, this is the case,” Mina said. “I’ve seen the video, so I know the state attorney has seen the video of (Loyd) standing over defenseless and helpless Lt. Debra Clayton and executing her.”

Here is Scott’s EO:

Scott voiced his displeasure for Ayala’s decision earlier in the day:

“I completely disagree with State Attorney Ayala’s decision and comments,” Scott said. “She has made it abundantly clear that she will not fight for justice for Lt. Debra Clayton and our law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day.”

Scott even asked Ayala to recuse herself from the case since she did not want to seek the death penalty.

This is the statement from Mina:

State Attorney Aramis Ayala claimed on Thursday that “she had studied the issue and decided her office would not seek the death penalty in any cases, saying capital punishment in Florida had led to ‘chaos, uncertainty, and turmoil.'”

Ayala also said evidence has shown her the death penalty as too “expensive, slow, inhumane and did not increase public safety.”

Mina is not the only one in Florida upset by Ayala’s decision:

Similarly, state Attorney General Pam Bondi, also a Republican, said it “sends a dangerous message” not to seek the death penalty.
“It is a blatant neglect of duty and a shameful failure to follow the law as a constitutionally elected officer,” Bondi said.

Shawn Dunlap, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Orlando Lodge 25, slammed the decision as an “epic injustice.”

“The death penalty is the law of the land in the state of Florida, and I believe that if there ever was a case for its use this would be the one,” Dunlap said.

Mina also said he will ask his department’s legal team if they can do anything to change Ayala’s decision:

“If there is something that can be done, certainly we will be full throttle and go forward with that,” Mina said. “We believe that this should be determined by a jury, if he gets the death penalty.”

Despite the decision, Mina said he knows Orlando police will “continue being the professional officers we are.”

“They’re going to continue to risk their lives to keep this community safe,” he said. “If anything, it just gives them more resolve to fight crime and protect this community.”

Loyd allegedly killed his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon outside of her home on December 13. He escaped.

A person spotted him on January 9 and told Lt. Debra Clayton, who patrolled the area. She attempted to arrest him, but Loyd shot at her. When Clayton retreated, “Loyd followed her, police said, shooting and killing her while she was on the ground.”


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Whether you are a State’s Attorney in Florida or a Judge in Hawaii, “Liberal Privilege” allows one to ignore the law and apply their own personal political opinion in its place. Save us.

Ayala has every right to her opinions….

AFTER she resigns her state’s prosecutor position and goes into private practice or the ACLU.

    Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | March 16, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    She is an elected official, and is therefore entitled to her opinions on the job. If the people of her district don’t like them they’re free to vote for someone else.

    (In fact even appointed prosecutors are entitled to their opinions on something like this, because it comes up so seldom that it would pose no great burden on their employer to assign someone else to handle it when it does, as Scott did here. Employers must make reasonable accommodations for their employees’ deeply held values. But in this case your argument doesn’t even begin.)

      SmokeVanThorn in reply to Milhouse. | March 16, 2017 at 8:47 pm

      “Employers must make reasonable accommodations for their employees’ deeply held values.”

      It’s been months since I’ve had a chance to visit this site. I see you remain as ignorant as ever.

        Milhouse in reply to SmokeVanThorn. | March 16, 2017 at 9:02 pm

        The law requires an employer or other covered entity to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs or practices, unless doing so would cause more than a minimal burden on the operations of the employer’s business. This means an employer may be required to make reasonable adjustments to the work environment that will allow an employee to practice his or her religion.”

        So you’re the ignorant one here. You weren’t missed, you’re not contributing anything, so why don’t you go away again?

          Milwaukee in reply to Milhouse. | March 17, 2017 at 12:33 am

          Did she mention her personal religious objections to the death penalty? Is this a religion she is actually practicing? For example, if she is Catholic, and claims this is contrary to the teachings of the Church, but hasn’t been to Mass in the last 26 years, is that really her religion?

          So she can be assigned traffic cases for the balance of her time in this position, unless she has a religious objections to stopping at stop signs.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | March 17, 2017 at 6:51 pm

          a) a personal belief does not have to be religious to be protected.
          b) in any case the whole issue doesn’t arise because she’s an elected official so she’s responsible only to her voters, who are presumably happy with her performance.
          c) nobody can “assign” her work. any case in her district is automatically hers to assign, unless the governor specifically takes it away from her, as he did here. If he were to retaliate against her by taking away all her cases that would be grounds for impeachment, and probably also a successful lawsuit; he needs a good reason to remove a case, as he had here.

    amatuerwrangler in reply to Ragspierre. | March 17, 2017 at 3:24 am

    Ayala may be using the Kamala Harris (D-CA) formula for a seat in the US Senate…

rabid wombat | March 16, 2017 at 7:23 pm

“Ayala also said evidence has shown her the death penalty as too “expensive, slow, inhumane and did not increase public safety.”

But it does reduce recidivism when properly applied.

I live in Central Florida and people are mad at Ayala. A few things stand out. Ms. Ayala says she will not apply the death penalty for future cases and cases currently in the docket. Secondly, when she ran for office, Soros dumped money into her campaign and was asked about this by a local reporter about this (no fake news there.) Ayala never campaigned against the death penalty when she ran for the S.A. Office. Under Florida statutes a jury decides and must vote unanimously to decide life or death not a rogue liberal politician. Noticeably, not one local elected democrat has commented on this! In fact, the Sheriff of Orange County had given a rambling press conference early today and his wife is a democrat in the U,S. Congress.

As for Gov. Scott, he has a lot of BFF’s as a result of what he did. He is rumored to be running for U.S. Senate in 2018. This no doubt helps him politically. Rumor also has it that liberal lunatic Ayala may go judge shopping to find another liberal lunatic judge to reinstate her. Even if she is, Scott is rewarded for his stance. Also, Black Lives Matter crew are awfully quiet.

Finally, I think of our law enforcement and our community here in Central Florida. I pray for peace and common sense.

This is an epidemic of activist DA’s and judges that need to be removed before they get us all killed.

the rule of Alinsky.. no rules, chaos reigns supreme..

Call it Pro-Choice rather than capital punishment, and abort the wholly innocent baby… I mean, execute the criminal proven beyond any doubt, at a neighborhood Planned Parenthood. That should calm any conscientious dissent.

Char Char Binks | March 16, 2017 at 10:48 pm

SOMEBODY’S black life matters!

Question: is the death penalty out of the question then in this case due to Ayala’s decision or the new SA can pursue it? Sorry, but it’s not clear to me after reading this post.

    Blueshot in reply to Ulises. | March 17, 2017 at 12:01 am

    I don’t think it’s clear at this point. It’s probably going to require a court fight all the way to the Florida Supreme Court. Maybe even the SCOTUS.

    Certainly the defense lawyers would appeal any death penalty conviction by arguing that the first prosecutor made the decision to not seek the death penalty and was sacked from the case as punishment for it.

      Milhouse in reply to Blueshot. | March 17, 2017 at 12:31 am

      What’s there to fight over? What possible appeal could the defendant have? It’s none of his business who represents the people in their case against him, any more than any litigant gets to choose his opponent’s lawyer.

      The only person with any sort of standing to challenge Scott’s decision would be Ayala, but that wouldn’t affect the case itself, it would just be a matter of defending her turf. Even if by some weird fluke she prevailed and the court said Scott shouldn’t have replaced her, that wouldn’t affect the validity of the trial led by King.

      the first prosecutor made the decision to not seek the death penalty and was sacked from the case as punishment for it.

      So what? How does that give him any legal rights? I don’t see how it helps him at all.

        Blueshot in reply to Milhouse. | March 17, 2017 at 12:39 am

        I’m not arguing that he shouldn’t face the death penalty. He should and upon conviction he should get it.

        I’m simply pointing out that the defense lawyers and anti-death penalty groups in particular are going to use this issue to try and overturn his death penalty conviction.

    Milhouse in reply to Ulises. | March 17, 2017 at 12:22 am

    Not at all. That’s the whole point of Scott giving the job to someone else instead, who is prepared to do it. She can have her opinions, and justice can be done without her.

the article is written bass-akkwards. Keeps pointing out how Ayala wont seek the death penalty, how people ARE upset. Should have ended with Rick Scotts resolution instead of mixing it in to the narrative. Made it sound like people are still upset. And if they are, are they taking action to remove this bleeding heart from “public service”?

How much will it cost to execute this killer after all the appeals, etc?How long will it take? Could it take his lifetime?How much would it cost to keep him in prison for life? He clearly needs to be executed; but if the system might drag this out literally till he dies of old age, the prosecutor may simply be doing the practical thing.

Maybe she can get away with doing that in CA, but it’s higher office suicide in FL.

Well… this is the problem when you give broad powers of discretion to people. Occasionally, they make decisions that are unpopular.

I am guessing that she is well within her powers of office to not seek the death penalty, no matter how much the populace wants her to do so. I am not sure about Scott’s actions to remove her from the case, as I’m not familiar with his position’s relationship with the day-to-day decisions of the AG office. If the AG is supposed to enforce the will of the governor’s office… then yeah, I suspect he is well within his powers to find an AG that will prosecute the case as he sees fit.

Also, I don’t know why people are so upset at Milhouse. He seems to be correct on the issues, regardless of how unpopular the situation is.

    Milhouse in reply to Semper Why. | March 17, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    State attorneys don’t work for the governor, and are not expected to enforce his will. But he has the authority to remove cases from them whenever he feels it appropriate, and he has properly done so in this instance. I doubt she will even bother to challenge it, because she knows she’d have no grounds. Now if he were to use his authority in a vindictive manner it would be different, but there’s no sign of anything like that.

Dare we ask why Aramis Ayala was apparently named after a men’s cologne?

I’m left to wonder, who is the unidentified woman with the picture of the deceased police officer, and appears intermittently in the video?

“A cop killer, who also murdered his pregnant girlfriend…” – Orlando PD Chief John Mina

It is distressing that the statements of police officials treat the murder of the pregnant Sade Dixon as secondary in importance to the murder of the Lt. Debra Clayton. A murder of a non-LEO is of the same importance as the murder of a LEO.