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President Office — Press Release


February 6, 2017

CONTACT: Katie Betta, (850) 487-5229

Senate Committee Passes Legislation to Require Unanimous Verdict in Death Penalty Cases

Tallahassee —

The Florida Senate Committee on Criminal Justice, chaired by Senator Randolph Bracy (D-Ocoee), today passed Senate Bill 280, Sentencing for Capital Felonies, which revises sentencing requirements in capital felony cases to require a unanimous jury verdict, rather than a certain number of jurors, for a sentencing recommendation of death.


“The Senate has supported a unanimous verdict requirement in the past, and now the Supreme Court has made it clear that if we are going to follow the Constitution, we need to amend our death penalty statute to require a unanimous jury verdict in death penalty cases,” said Senate President Joe Negron (R-Stuart).


“It is important that we have an orderly system of justice in place for both families of victims and individuals charged with serious crimes,” said Chair Bracy, sponsor of Senate Bill 280. “This legislation removes ambiguity from our death penalty statute, which will help reduce delays in due process for all parties involved in death penalty cases.”


Senate Bill 280 is now available for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Rules. If passed by the Rules Committee, the bill would be available to be heard on the Senate floor early in the 2017 Legislative Session.