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Ron DeSantis wants to override rule requiring unanimity of jury to death

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis wants to make it easier for juries to order death sentences, potentially contradicting US Supreme Court precedent.

Currently, Florida juries must be unanimous in their decision to seek an execution.

However, in a Monday meeting with the Florida Sheriff’s Association, the Republican governor called for lowering that threshold to just a three-quarters majority.

“Alright, have a supermajority. But you can’t tell just one person. So maybe eight out of 12 must agree? Or something. But we can’t be in a situation where one person can just derail this,” he said, Florida Politics reports.

The governor then wrongly blamed the unanimity requirement for the Parkland mass shooter to avoid the death penalty, even though three people voted against a death sentence.

“And so I think you had an 11-to-1 decision, where all 11 said he should be given the death penalty,” DeSantis continued. “One said no. And we don’t know what happened in there. But I think there are people on those juries who never intend to administer capital punishment.

A unanimous verdict has been required for a death sentence since 2017, following a series of decisions by the US Supreme Court and Florida Court of Appeals overturning the state’s old system, which allowed a simple majority to order an execution with the authorization of a presiding judge.

In 2016, in Hurst vs. Floridathe Supreme Court found that the previous system violated the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial.

“The Sixth Amendment requires a jury, not a judge, to find every fact necessary to impose a death sentence,” the High Court said. wrote in his decision. “The mere recommendation of a jury is not enough.”

At the sheriff’s meeting, the governor of Florida said he could reverse those rulings by writing a new law.

“Ultimately, that can probably be changed by law,” he said.

Florida has historically been among the busiest execution chambers in the country, according to the Death Penalty Information Centeralthough he has not executed anyone since 2019.

The independent and the association Responsible Business for Justice Initiative (RBIJ) launched a joint campaign calling for a end to the death penalty in the USA. The RBIJ has attracted over 150 well-known signatories to its Statement of Business Leaders Against the Death Penalty – with The Independent as the latest on the list. We join high profile leaders like Ariana Huffington, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson in this initiative and pledge to highlight the injustices of the death penalty in our coverage. .


The Independent Gt

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