State Senator Victor Torres is disagreeing with a decision by Orange Osceola County State Attorney Aramis Ayala to not seek the death penalty against Markeith Loyd. Loyd is accused of killing OPD Lieutenant Debra Clayton and his former girlfriend Sade Dixon, who was pregnant at the time of her death.
Torres is a former New York Police Detective.
In any murder case, all legal sentencing options, including the death penalty, should be considered. I agree that the death penalty in Florida has had a troubled history. Even with the passage of the new law requiring jury unanimity in death sentences, 75% of those currently on death row were reportedly convicted with non-unanimous juries. But as a former police detective, I strongly believe that when any law enforcement officer loses their lives in the line of duty and in the service to others, all available legal consequences should be considered. While I respect State Attorney Ayala’s right to decide her office’s future course, I disagree with her decision to leave the death penalty off the table.”
Ayala’s decision to not seek the death penalty in the case that also resulted in the death of Orange County Sheriff’s deputy Norm Lewis, during the manhunt for Loyd has been a divisive one with law enforcement leaders like OPD Chief John Mina and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings also disagreeing with the decision and many religious and civil rights organizations siding with Ayala.
Governor Rick Scott has since taken Ayala off of the Loyd case and reassigned it to Lake County State Attorney Brad King.