Reason.com reports passage of new Florida law allowing juries to decided on death penalties with a vote of 8 to 4:
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation into law today lowering the threshold for a jury to recommend a death penalty sentence from unanimity to an 8–4 majority, the lowest standard in the country.
Alabama is the only other state that allows split juries to recommend death sentences, and it requires a 10–2 majority.
DeSantis began pushing for the legislation this year after three jurors refused to vote for the death penalty for Nikolas Cruz, who killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018. Cruz was instead sentenced to life in prison.
“If just one juror vetoes it, then you end up not getting the sentence,” DeSantis said earlier this year. “Maybe eight out of 12 have to agree, or something, but we can’t be in a situation where one person can just derail this.”
The legislation, S.B. 450, did not pass along a straight party-line vote. Some Democrats, most of them from South Florida where the Stoneman Douglas shooting took place, voted in favor, and some Republicans broke ranks to oppose it.
Full Post by C.J. Ciaramella @ https://reason.com/2023/04/20/ron-desantis-signs-florida-law-setting-lowest-threshold-for-death-penalty-sentences-in-the-country/