TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-- A lawyer for a Florida state attorney who refuses to seek the death penalty says there is nothing in state law that forces her to do so and told the state Supreme Court the Gov. Rick Scott had no right reassign 24 murder cases to another prosecutor.
Attorney Roy Austin told justices on Wednesday that he can find no other instance where a governor took away cases from a state attorney without their consent. He represents Orlando-area State Attorney Aramis Ayala, who said in March she wouldn't seek the death penalty in the case of Markeith Loyd. He is charged in the fatal shooting of an Orlando police officer.
A lawyer representing the Republican governor said there has never been a state attorney who has set a blanket policy of not seeking the death penalty.