August 31, 2017

MIAMI – The Florida Supreme Court today ruled 5-2 against central Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala in her case challenging Gov. Scott taking cases away from her after she determined that Florida’s death penalty was too unreliable, costly and ineffective.

Responding to the decision, ACLU of Florida deputy director Melba Pearson stated:

“This is a deeply disappointing decision. Florida law gives independently elected State Attorneys broad discretion to determine how best to seek justice in the cases they are responsible for prosecuting. Florida State Attorneys answer to the voters they represent, not to the governor.

“Governor Scott’s intervention in State Attorney Ayala’s cases dangerously undermines the independence of our state’s prosecutors, and the Supreme Court’s regrettable decision today opens the door to further politicizing of our justice system.“

The ACLU of Florida was part of a coalition of civil rights groups who filed an amicus brief in the case in support of State Attorney Aramis Ayala. More info on the amicus is available here: https://www.aclufl.org/en/press-releases/civil-rights-groups-file-brief-florida-supreme-court-support-state-attorney-ayalas

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