The Fair Punishment Project applauds Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala’s decision to refrain from seeking any death sentences during her tenure.

Robert J. Smith, the Project’s director, issued the following statement in support of her decision:

“Florida’s death penalty is deeply flawed. Not only have innocent men and woman been sentenced to death, but individuals with crippling mental impairments have also faced capital punishment. It is refreshing to see a prosecutor acknowledge these troubling defects and commit to halting death penalty prosecutions in light of these problems. Aramis Ayala should be commended for her commitment to justice, fairness, and the inherent dignity of all human beings.”

S.A. Ayala also announced that she would not pursue death sentences for the individuals whose sentences were overturned as a result of the Hurst v. Florida decision. The State Attorney’s office handles cases from Orange and Osceola Counties.

Orange County has historically been an outlier in Florida and in the country with regards to its use of the death penalty. It is among just four of Florida’s 67 counties that have produced more than five executions since 1976. Orange County is also just one of 10 Florida’s counties, that when combined, are responsible for more than half of the state’s death row population. Only five percent of all counties nationwide have returned one or more death sentences since 2012.