Local professor addresses debate on capital punishment

TAMPA, Fla. -- No death penalty for Markeith Loyd.

Prosecutors say Loyd killed his pregnant ex-girlfriend, and the Orlando police officer who tried to arrest him.

The state attorney, Aramis Ayala, announced they will not seek the death penalty when Loyd goes to trial.

People who are not OK with the decision:

Governor Rick Scott -- he has assigned a different state attorney to the case.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina.

Even Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. In a Facebook post, he says not going after the death penalty appalling and reprehensible.

Scott pulled Ayala off the case just hours after that controversial decision. She said forgoing the death penalty actually saves money.

"The Florida law gives me the discretion under the statute of pursuing death penalty that I have the discretion of whether or not to seek it," she said.

But, is that the only reason?

Dr. Susan Brinkley, a University of Tampa professor, let us interrupt her death penalty course to answer the question.

"It's an expensive process to do and rather than run the risk of not winning a case, they don't charge capitally," Brinkley said.  

Under the state's new death penalty law, a unanimous jury must recommend capital punishment.

Brinkley said that makes prosecuting these cases even more difficult.

"They're looking at the reality of how many cases have I tried, how many of them have been unanimous juries and if they haven't been, then do you really want to waste tax payers money on the expense of capital trial when you still can put them away for life if you get a conviction on life without?"

So, what's the price of a life? The victims already lost theirs, many are willing to pay for Loyd's if convicted.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment
TRENDING VIDEOS