Florida pros­e­cu­tor, gov­er­nor in dust-up

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

OR­LANDO, Fla. — A Florida state at­tor­ney said the state’s gov­er­nor over­stepped his bounds when he re­moved her from a case after she pledged to not pur­sue the death penalty in any cases.

State At­tor­ney Aramis Ayala filed a mo­tion in court Mon­day ask­ing a judge to al­low her to present that ar­gu­ment in court.

“Every day State At­tor­neys here in Florida make im­por­tant de­ci­sions on who to charge, what to charge and what to pri­or­i­tize,” Ayala wrote in the mo­tion. “Giv­ing the gov­er­nor the tremen­dous and un­fet­tered dis­cre­tion to in­ter­fere in that de­ci­sion mak­ing would be un­prece­dented and could un­der­mine the en­tire jus­tice sys­tem in Florida.”

Gov. Rick Scott re­moved Ayala from Markeith Loyd’s case and re­as­signed it to a pros­e­cu­tor in a neigh­bor­ing dis­trict after Ayala made her an­nounce­ment against the death penalty Thurs­day. Loyd is charged with first-de­gree mur­der in the killings of Or­lando po­lice Lt. De­bra Clay­ton and Loyd’s preg­nant ex-girl­friend, Sade Dixon.

When asked in Tallahassee about Ayala’s mo­tion, Scott said he was shocked that Ayala wouldn’t seek the death penalty in Loyd’s case.

“I’m very com­fort­able that I made the right de­ci­sion and I had the au­thor­ity to do it,” Scott said.

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