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State Attorney Aramis Ayala Abusing Office
State Attorney Aramis Ayala Abusing Office-Last Wednesday The Florida Supreme Court heard arguments from attorney’s for Florida’s Governor Rick Scott and Orange-Osceola Prosecutor Aramis Ayala.
Aramis Ayala, the state attorney for the 9th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, announced in March that she doesn’t plan to seek the death penalty in any cases her office prosecutes. In April, she filed cases against the governor in Florida’s Supreme Court and at the federal level.
The issue at hand is whether or not the governor had the authority to reassign capitol murder cases from prosecutor Ayala, to 5th Circuit State Attorney Brad King.
State Attorney Aramis Ayala Abusing Office-Markeith Loyd
Governor Scott called on State Attorney Ayala to recuse herself immediately from prosecuting the Markeith Loyd case after she refused to consider the death penalty in his case.
State Attorney Ayala refused to recuse herself and Governor Scott removed her from the case and reassigned it to the 5th Circuit’s State Attorney Brad King.
Loyd faces 11 counts, including murder and firearm charges, for allegedly killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon and Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton. Lloyd’s arrest followed an extensive manhunt and chase that resulted in the death of another deputy.
He was captured January 17, 2017
In the Florida Supreme Court last Wednesday, the justices appearing to be agitated, spent most of the time firing their questions at Ayala’s attorney, Roy Austin.
Ayala claims that Gov. Rick Scott violated state law when he transferred twenty-four murder cases to another prosecutor, 5th Circuit State Attorney Brad King, and she wants the court to return the cases to her office.
“No such authority exists,” Ayala’s attorney, Roy Austin, told justices in a full courtroom, calling the cases “stolen.”
Justice, C. Alan Lawson, questioned the assertion by Austin that Ayala is not challenging the law that Scott cited for his actions.
“The statute says he (the Governor) can do this,” said justice Lawson.
Justice Fred Lewis began the questioning with the statement “I don’t see how this is prosecutorial discretion, when you have a state officer saying she is not going to follow the law.“
Chief Justice Jorge Labarga said if Ayala’s position is correct that “we could end up with a situation where in the state of Florida, one circuit with the death penalty, one circuit without it, all over the place.” “How is that proper?” he further states, “Why do we need a legislature, if we have that?”
Justice Charles Canady, a former state legislator, took issue with Ayala’s “absolutist” position, and noted that a governor can suspend a state attorney for misfeasance.
“Why couldn’t this be viewed as an instance of misfeasance?” Canady asked.
Roy Austin argued that state attorneys should have the right to do what voters in their circuit want.
The fact is she never told voters of her intentions to not seek the ultimate penalty. Like a lot of liberal politicians, she purports to know what voters want better than they themselves do. Seems she was worried if she informed voters of her intentions, she would have lost the election and would not have been able to carry out her well organized and thought out plan to subjugate the Florida legislature.
Justice Barbara Pariente pointed out that if Ayala’s position is that she disagrees with the death penalty, “she didn’t run on that platform” in her campaign.
Florida Solicitor General Amit Agarwal, represented governor Scott. He said state law clearly gives the governor the power to take action against any state attorney for any “good and sufficient reason that the ends of justice would be best served.” he said, said Ayala’s “blanket policy” nullifies a law enacted by the Legislature.
Capital punishment has been in limbo in Florida for the last 18 months. The US Supreme Court ruled in January 2016 that the state’s death penalty process was unconstitutional, and the state’s Supreme court ruled against a proposed fix to that law late last year.
On Tuesday March 14th, 2017, the governor signed a new death penalty bill, which had rare bipartisan support to stand up to those legal challenges.
The Senate unanimously passed SB 280. The next day the Florida House approved it, 112-3.
Florida will now require a unanimous jury recommendation before the death penalty can be imposed, rather than just a simple majority vote.
State Attorney Aramis Ayala Abusing Office
In fact, after her March announcement, an investigation by WFTV in Orlando by Field Sutton shows she probably had this planned before the election, and never said so to voters.
Channel 9’s Field Sutton pored through hundreds of pages of communications from the state attorney’s office.
9 Investigates found out Ayala took advice from justice reform groups beginning on January 09th, and continuing through the March 16 announcement.
According to WFTV Orlando, Miriam Krinsky, executive director of an organization called Fair and Just Prosecution, sent a message to Ayala trying to connect her with San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon.
Krinsky described Ayala in the emails as someone “looking for smart thinking around changing paradigms and — most immediately — thinking through death penalty strategies.”
Krinsky also set up a connection between Ayala and Rob Smith of Harvard Law’s Fair Punishment Project, telling Ayala, “I think it would be valuable…to chat as soon as possible [with Smith] about the death penalty issues.”
During this time, Stephanie Faucher, at the anti-death penalty 8th Amendment Project was sending what she called “messaging maps” to Ayala.
The documents included talking points like “the death penalty traps victims’ families in a decades-long cycle of uncertainty, court hearings and waiting,” which bore a striking resemblance to a portion of Ayala’s final announcement speech, according to the 9 investigative report.
According to 9 Investigates, through at least February 20th, Ayala’s office was still using a generic public statement that talked about continuing to seek the death penalty after receiving additional guidance on its implementation following various judicial and legislative decisions.
During January and February, Krinsky continued sending lengthy notes to Ayala that were filled with advice like “it is important to not say anything that will create push back or counter pressure before you are ready to make an announcement, while also being careful to not say anything that could be viewed as counter to what you later end up rolling out.”
For her attorney to argue in front of the court that she has a responsibility to the voters of her circuit, while hiding this from them until well after the election, in our opinion, not only borders on possible prosecutorial misconduct, but also a possible fraud on the voters there.
Maybe the voters there should consider a recall election as it appears they were robbed of making an informed decision. Most politicians lie but this seems to go far beyond that.
A prosecutors first duty is to the court. Not even voters have the right to decide which statutes should, or should not be enforced. After keeping her hidden agenda from voters, she now claims to know what the voters in her circuit really want?
This was obviously a well planned and organized attempt by state attorney Aramis Ayala and a few outside organizations to subjugate, or “Hi-Jack” the Florida Legislature for their own personal beliefs.
Even when voters make it perfectly clear what they want, seems that some politicians still just don’t get it. They think they know better than us (voters) and even try to tell us it’s what we want or it’s the “right” thing to do.
For the record, we at South Florida Corruption are against the death penalty, except in the most extreme of circumstances. We did read the links to both the Fair Punishment Project, and the anti-death penalty 8th Amendment Project , and agree with a lot of what they say.
It’s their methodology we disagree with. To deceive the voters of Florida, in our opinion, then purport to know what they want, is unforgivable. If you don’t agree with the law, there is a thing called the Legislature.
Take note also that none of these organizations are actually in Florida.
The people of the state of Florida, as a whole, have decided there is to be a death penalty here. For any county, or a handful for that matter, to try to subjugate the Florida legislature with this kind of stunt is outrageous.
After watching the arguments and the responses from the justices, it’s our guess the court will see through these cheap stunt, and will side with the governor.
Ayala, a Democrat, was elected last November as state attorney for Orange and Osceola counties in the Ninth Judicial Circuit.
She’s the first African-American state attorney in Florida’s 172 years of statehood.
Florida Solicitor General Amit Agarwal argued that “Intelligent people of good will, can indeed disagree about the death penalty. But no one individual………….can make that decision.”
Markeith Loyd is accused of some pretty horrific crimes. Not only is he accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend, when faced with capture he shot a police officer and, with plenty of time to get away, stood over her and executed the deputy. If anyone thinks that the people of Florida would not be demanding the “ultimate penalty” if he were white, please think again.
We ask our enforcement officers to put their lives on the line for us every day. When one is murdered in such a terrible way, it’s our duty as Floridians to demand the “ultimate penalty” and tell the nation,
“This is not to be done here, and it WILL NOT be tolerated.”
Florida Supreme Court Hearing
Click Below To Watch The Hearing