Florida Governor Rick Scott is calling on Orange-Osceola County State Attorney Aramis Ayala to recuse herself after she announced she would not be seeking the death penalty in the Markeith Loyd case or any other cases under the state’s current capital punishment standards (story HERE).
Loyd faces murder charges for the death of OPD Lieutenant Debra Clayton and his former girlfriend Sade Dixon, who was pregnant at the time of her death. The manhunt for Loyd also resulted in the death of Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Norm Lewis.
“I want to be very clear, Lt. Debra Clayton was executed while she was laying on the ground fighting for her life.” said Scott “She was killed by an evil murderer who did not think twice about senselessly ending her life. I completely disagree with State Attorney Ayala’s decision and comments and I am asking her to recuse herself immediately from this case.”
Ayala said at her Thursday morning press conference that seeking the death penalty is not in the best interest of the community citing studies that show the practice to be ineffective in deterring crime and the costs involved in the execution. Her decision has been met with a negative response from members of the law enforcement community including Orlando Police Chief John Mina who called the decision “Extremely upsetting”.
Ayala has given no indication that she will recuse herself from the Loyd case.
Scott closes saying “She has made it abundantly clear that she will not fight for justice for Lt. Debra Clayton and our law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day.”