March 11, 2016
On Monday, Governor Scott signed into law a new death sentencing scheme that addresses a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. The January 12 ruling in Hurst v. Florida found Florida's system for sentencing a person to death unconstitutional because it allows a judge, not the jury, to find each fact necessary to impose a death sentence. The legislation also requires that at least 10 of 12 jurors agree when recommending death.
The FCCB opposes the use of the death penalty since other means are available to keep society safe and punish offenders. However, we have long advocated for requiring a unanimous jury decision to ensure a more reliable and fair sentencing process as long as our state continues to use the death penalty. A 10-2 jury requirement is an improvement over previous law that allowed a person to be sentenced to death on a recommendation of only a simple majority of jurors (7 of 12).