[Net-Gold] CAPITAL PUNISHMENT AND DEATH PENALTY : LAW CASES : UNITED STATES: STATES: FLORIDA : LAW CONSTITUTIONS AND CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES The Constitutional Crisis in Florida We’re All Missing

 

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CAPITAL PUNISHMENT AND DEATH PENALTY :

LAW CASES :

UNITED STATES: STATES: FLORIDA :

LAW CONSTITUTIONS AND CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES

The Constitutional Crisis in Florida We’re All Missing

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The Constitutional Crisis in Florida We’re All Missing

By Karl Racine, Beth McCann and Miriam Aroni Krinsky

July 12, 2017 at 3:49 PM

Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/
the-constitutional-crisis-in-florida-were-all-missing/
2017/07/12/16a68970-6299-11e7-84a1-a26b75ad39fe_story.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/ycclxzjd

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This March, Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala announced that she would not seek the death penalty in any case before her office. Instead, Ayala said she would revisit the issue if the chaotic circumstances surrounding Floridas death penalty  recently struck down twice  changed.

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) didnt approve, so he unilaterally reassigned about two dozen homicide cases from her jurisdiction to a state attorney known for his death penalty advocacy.

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Now the two are facing off at the Florida Supreme Court in what has become just the latest constitutional crisis in our country with potentially dire consequences for our criminal-justice system. At stake is the authority of elected prosecutors to make decisions about how to handle their criminal cases. A decision in the case may come as soon as this week.

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Scott argues that he gets the authority for this unprecedented move from a statute that has historically been used for consensual reassignments.

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But that statute does not cover the impartial, reasoned, entirely appropriate exercise of discretionary decision-making that Ayala engaged in here. The governor has no authority under any statute or the Florida Constitution to usurp Ayalas prosecutorial autonomy, which comes directly from the constitution. The governor admitted as much when he previously said that only voters could remove an elected public defender found to have violated ethics rules.

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That is why we, along with dozens of former prosecutors and judges, including four former Florida Supreme Court justices and two former U.S. solicitors general, joined in an amicus brief urging the court to protect prosecutorial independence and reject the governors attempt to override a duly elected state attorneys exercise of discretion.

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Ayala was overwhelmingly elected to serve Orange and Osceola counties. She made her decision after weighing the heinousness of the crimes, the lack of deterrent value in pursuing the death penalty, the best interests of victims and their family members, and the millions of dollars needed to reach execution, concluding that death penalty prosecutions were not in the best interest of her community.

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This was a transparent and reasoned exercise of her discretion as an elected prosecutor. Legislatures establish the crimes that can be prosecuted and the range of punishments sought. But it is the locally elected prosecutors who must decide which prosecutions and punishments to pursue. These decisions are an inherent part of the independent exercise of prosecutorial autonomy  decisions that must be free from political or executive intrusion.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 – 4584
jwne@temple.edu
http://workface.com/e/daviddillard

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[Net-Gold] CAPITAL PUNISHMENT AND DEATH PENALTY : LAW CASES : UNITED STATES: STATES: FLORIDA : LAW CONSTITUTIONS AND CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES The Constitutional Crisis in Florida We’re All Missing

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