On Monday, Governor Rick Scott signed legislation requiring a unanimous jury in death cases. today, the state’s first black female State Attorney, Aramis Ayala, elected in August in Orlando, said she would not seek the death penalty in the high profile case of a cop killer or any other case doing her term in office. It prompted Governor Rick Scott to call for her to recuse herself from the case, while one of the most powerful state Senators, Jack Latvala, called for her removal.
“I think that’s unconscionable” says Latvala. I believe that State Attorneys and all of us in elected office take an oath to uphold our constitution and our laws of the state, and I don’t think State Attorneys have any special privilege to decide which laws they want to enforce and they don’t want to enforce. And I think the Governor should give serious consideration to what his options are, up to, If I were Governor, And I have the power, I’d throw her out of office. I’d suspend her tomorrow.”
Lawmakers do not have the power to remove a State Attorney or Public Defender from office, but this morning, a House committee approved a constitutional amendment giving lawmakers impeachment power for prosecutors. the move was filed long before this mornings announcement about not pursuing death cases.