Florida governor replaces anti-death-penalty prosecutor

Image: Ayala announces that her office will no longer pursue the death penalty

Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala announces that her office will no longer pursue the death penalty during a press conference Thursday. Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel via A

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Thursday removed prosecutor Aramis Ayala from the trial of accused cop killer Markeith Loyd after she said she would no longer seek the death penalty in first-degree murder cases.

Loyd, who was wanted for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend, is accused of fatally shooting Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton when she tried to catch him.

Ayala said she made her decision because capital punishment doesn’t deter crime or protect citizens.

Scott said he was using his executive authority to replace Ayala with State Attorney Brad King because Ayala would not “fight for justice.” “These families deserve a state attorney who will aggressively prosecute Markeith Loyd to the fullest extent of the law,” he said, “and justice must be served.”

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