In response to the life sentence given to the shooter who murdered 17 people at a Parkland high school, the Florida Legislature reportedly adopted a bill on Thursday that would soon remove the requirement for unanimous jury recommendations before judges may impose death sentences.
The bill was approved by the House 80 to 30.
For ultimate approval, it now moves to Republican governor Ron DeSantis.
With a jury recommendation of at least 8-4 in favor of execution, it will sanction the capital sentence. DeSantis is in favor of the idea.
Both Republicans and Democrats acknowledged that the reason they were debating the measure was because Nikolas Cruz, the gunman who killed 17 people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, was not given the death penalty by a jury that was split 9-3.
Instead, he was given an unalterable life sentence.
Democrats countered that merely because of the Cruz ruling, the state shouldn’t make it simpler to inflict a punishment that cannot be overturned.
Just three of the 27 states that use the death sentence do not demand unanimous approval. Alabama permits a 10-2 judgment, but Missouri and Indiana allow the judge to make the call in cases when the jury is split.
Two convicted murderers have been put to death in Florida this year, including one on Wednesday, and a third execution is slated for three weeks from now.
Until approving the three death warrants this year, DeSantis, a potential presidential contender, hadn’t presided over an execution since 2019.
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