Florida Lawmakers Poised to Approve Death Penalty for Pedophiles

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Lawmakers in Florida are expected to pass legislation that would allow for the execution of individuals convicted of pedophilia in the state.

If the law is approved, courts would have the authority to sentence pedophiles to death if they are found guilty of sexual battery against a child under 12 years old.

According to a report from CBS News, the House is scheduled to discuss their version of the bill (HB 1297) on Thursday, while the Senate version (SB 1342) was already approved by the Rules Committee on Tuesday, positioning it to move forward to the full Senate.

It’s worth noting that the Supreme Court has previously ruled that imposing the death penalty in rape cases is unconstitutional. However, with the current justices, there is a possibility that this ruling may change.

In the United States, there hasn’t been an execution for a crime that didn’t involve murder since 1964.

Following the passage of the bill in the Rules Committee, Jonathan Martin, a former prosecutor and sponsor of the Senate bill, issued a warning to child sex offenders, stating that individuals who rape children, regardless of their age, should be subject to the death penalty.

However, Aaron Wayt, who represented the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers during the meeting, strongly criticized the legislation. Wayt defended pedophiles against the death penalty, claiming to care about victims, as per the CBS report.

“This bill invites a longer, costlier (legal) process for the victim and their family that they will endure,” Wayt said.

“While this crime, anyone convicted of it is vile, heinous, the Constitution itself, the case law, the Supreme Court demands a maximum of life in prison. And so while it’s not the vengeance we all want, it’s the justice that the Constitution demands.”

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book, a Democrat and victim of child sex abuse, appeared to support the bill.

“This is a life sentence that is handed down to young children,” Book said.

“We’re talking about the youngest of the young in this bill. I was one of those kids. I still to this day at … 38 years old deal with the very, very real lasting effects of this crime. It never goes away. Sometimes you close your eyes and you see it. I don’t get a chance to make it stop.”

The CBS report explains, “Under the bills, defendants could receive death sentences based on the recommendations of at least eight of 12 jurors.

“Judges would have discretion to impose the death penalty or sentence defendants to life in prison. If fewer than eight jurors recommend death, defendants would receive life sentences. Currently, unanimous jury recommendations are required before judges can impose the death penalty in murder cases.

“But lawmakers also are poised to change that requirement to allow death sentences after recommendations from eight of 12 jurors. The Senate has already passed such a change, and the House will take it up Thursday.”

Baxter Dmitry
About Baxter Dmitry 6012 Articles
Baxter Dmitry is a writer at The People's Voice. He covers politics, business and entertainment. Speaking truth to power since he learned to talk, Baxter has travelled in over 80 countries and won arguments in every single one. Live without fear.