Gainesville residents discuss Florida's death penalty controversy


A local anti-death penalty organization is criticizing the punishment and offering alternatives. The "Gainesville Citizens for Alternatives to the Death Penalty" held an event for the community Tuesday to extend the debate.

For years Florida has faced controversy on the death penalty, most recently Governor Rick Scott removed State Attorney Aramis Ayala from death penalty cases after she refused to pursue it.

Attorney Adam Tebrugge says recent trends show the death penalty won't live long in the state of Florida. A 2016 Public Policy poll shows 73% of Floridians support the law passed just last month. the law allows the death penalty when there's a unanimous verdict.

"It's understandable when there is a horrible crime for people to be offended or angry. However, there is a better punishment. That's life imprisonment without possibility for parole."

UF Law Professor Kenneth Nunn expressed how it is unjust and unfair, explaining expensive it its and how racism has a large impact on the death penalty. "'When you look at the history of the death penalty , it popped up once lynching stopped. that's not to say that everyone that supports the death penalty has a racial motivation but there is a connection there that a bit to close for comfort," he said.

Here in Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell recently spoke out against Ayala's death penalty stance, but Tebrugge insists there are better alternatives. He says, "It is a lie to victims families to hold out the death penalty of some form of justice when you can have no confidence that it will ever be carried out or there wont be other problems."

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