OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 1:55 PM PT – Friday, January 27, 2023
Governor Ron DeSantis has proposed changes to his state’s criminal justice laws.
One of the more noticeable changes that was proposed on Thursday included making child rapists eligible for the death penalty as well as reducing the number of jurors required to sentence capital punishment.
Governor DeSantis (R-Fla.) said that only a majority or a supermajority of the jury should be required to be able to issue the death sentence. He used the case of the Parkland school shooter as an example because he was spared the death sentence due to the jury failing to reach a unanimous verdict.
Several families of the 17 victims from the Parkland shooting had been critical of the jury and their decision. Dr. Ilan Alhadeff, who had lost his 14-year-daughter to the shooting, said he was “disgusted” with the jurors and the system as a whole. He felt that the shooter deserved the death penalty for his crime.
“What do we have the death penalty for?” he asked. “What is the purpose of it?”
DeSantis was also critical of the jury’s verdict.
“One juror should not be able to veto that,” DeSantis said. “I don’t think justice was served in that case. If you’re going to have capital [punishment], you have to administer it to the worst of the worst crimes.”
Another change that DeSantis wants implemented along with making convicted child rapists eligible for the death penalty, is the requirement for them to serve a life sentence at minimum.
Currently there are 301 inmates on death row in Florida, with the state having executed 99 prisoners since 1976.
He has also proposed increased sentences for fentanyl trafficking if the drug resembles harmless candies. He proposed strengthening bail laws by limiting bail eligibility, as well as mandating that police notify the National Missing and Unidentified Person’s System about all missing persons.