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On Thursday, Governor Ron DeSantis was joined by parents of the victims of the Parkland mass murder to sign Senate Bill (SB) 450, which reforms Florida’s death penalty statutes including reducing the number of jurors needed to administer capital punishment from unanimous to a supermajority of eight out of twelve.
“Once a defendant in a capital case is found guilty by a unanimous jury, one juror should not be able to veto a capital sentence,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I’m proud to sign legislation that will prevent families from having to endure what the Parkland families have and ensure proper justice will be served in the state of Florida.”
“A few months ago, we endured another tragic failure of the justice system. Today’s change in Florida law will hopefully save other families from the injustices we have suffered,” said Ryan Petty, father of Alaina. “I’d like to thank Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for this important legislation.”
“Thank you, Governor DeSantis, Senator Ingoglia, and Representative Jacques for enacting this legislation that changes the death penalty law,” said Hunter Pollack, brother of Meadow. “While we cannot go back and change the past, we can ensure that no community will ever have to endure the injustice and pain that we did when the Parkland shooter did not receive the death penalty.”
“This bill is about victims’ rights, plain and simple. It allows the victims of heinous crimes a chance to get justice and have the perpetrators punished to the full extent of the law,” said Tony Montalto, father of Gina. “Thank you to everyone who worked so hard on this bill.”
“Thank you, Governor DeSantis, Senator Ingoglia, and Representative Jacques for their passionate hard work on victims’ rights,” said Tom and Gena Hoyer, mother and father of Luke. “This bill will bring full accountability to the perpetrators of wicked crimes and help victims receive justice.”
“The victims of the most evil crimes and their families deserve to see criminals punished to the full extent of the law,” said Senator Blaise Ingoglia. “One rogue juror should not be the sole arbiter of justice. Thank you to the Parkland families, Governor DeSantis, and Representative Jacques for ensuring this doesn’t happen again.”
“Florida will no longer allow a small handful of activist jurors to derail the full administration of justice when individuals are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and meet the qualifications for the death penalty,” said Representative Bernie Jacques.
To view the transmittal letter, click here.