Florida’s death row is about to get a lot more crowded

It just got a lot easier to send a convicted killer to death row in Florida.

ALSO READ:  How To Make Money Daily Using Your Mobile Phone Or Computer

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a death penalty reform law Thursday that allows judges to impose capital punishment as long as eight out of 12 jurors recommend it. Before the new law was passed, juries had to be unanimous in their recommendations, allowing a single juror to derail the state’s efforts to obtain a death sentence.

The push for a change in the law intensified last year after a jury failed to reach a unanimous decision in the case of the Parkland high school mass shooter. Nikolas Cruz was spared execution and sentenced to life in prison after only nine of 12 jurors recommended death.

Before 2016, that would have been enough. But the U.S. Supreme Court, in an 8-1 ruling, struck down the state’s death penalty after finding it gave too much power to judges and not enough to juries. The state responded with a whirlwind of changes, culminating in a requirement that made it difficult, but not impossible, to secure a death sentence.

Cruz was among those spared by Broward juries, as were convicted killers Jacqueline Luongo, Richard Andres and Jonathan Gordon. Even convicted cop killers Bernard Forbes, Andre Delancy and Eloyn Ingraham were sentenced to life instead of death.

All would have qualified for the death penalty under the new law.

“Once a defendant in a capital case is found guilty by a unanimous jury, one juror should not be able to veto a capital sentence,” DeSantis said in a news release. “I’m proud to sign legislation that will prevent families from having to endure what the Parkland families have and ensure proper justice will be served in the state of Florida.”

Rafael Olmeda can be reached at [email protected] or 954-356-4457. Follow him on Twitter @rolmeda.

This is a developing story, so check back for updates. Click here to have breaking news alerts sent directly to your inbox.


Spread the love

Similar Posts