ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The NAACP Florida State Conference expressed its support for State Attorney Aramis Ayala and its opposition to capital punishment Saturday morning during a news conference in Orange County.
Ayala announced last week that she won’t pursue the death penalty in murder suspect Markeith Loyd’s case or any other during her tenure.
Following the announcement, Florida Gov. Rick Scott removed Ayala from Loyd’s case and appointed State Attorney Brad King to prosecute it instead.
Watch the NAACP's news conference on Aramis Ayala below:
Loyd is accused of fatally shooting his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Dixon, in December and Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton in January.
“We don’t want the death penalty in Florida for anybody,” conference President Adora Obi Nweze said. “That’s important because nobody's standing up saying that to him.”
Nweze called the death penalty a costly and racially biased form of punishment.
The news conference was held amid the conference’s quarterly leadership meeting at the Rosen Centre Hotel.
“The issue here is the death penalty is the death penalty,” NAACP Board Chairman Leon Russell said. “We’re concerned about the victims. We’re concerned about the crimes that happen in our community. But the death penalty -- killing people -- is not the way we end crime in this community.”
Ayala will appear in court Tuesday to try to convince a judge to reinstate her as the prosecutor in Loyd's case.
The organization said it plans to flood the governor’s office with petitions.
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