CrimeAramis Ayala opens up about death penalty views, decision not to run
Drama in court as SC mother of 5 slain children sobs during ex-husband's death penalty trial
A dramatic scene unfolded in a South Carolina courtroom on Monday where a teary-eyed mother testified at the death penalty trial of her ex-husband, who is charged with killing their five children in a blind rage. A prosecutor asked Amber Kyzer to read a letter she’d written their oldest child, trying to comfort her over the divorce and the pain of being in a broken home. "You kids are my world and Mommy and Daddy were really blessed to have you," Kyzer read on the witness stand while pausing and breaking into heaving sobs. "Oh God. Oh God. My babies.
Florida's first African American state attorney says she's proud to have challenged the status quo with her opposition to the death penalty, even though she eventually lost a legal fight with Florida's governor on the matter.
Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala told WESH 2 News that when she first took office she had to make a hard decision right up front.
Ayala made the decision not to seek the death penalty three months after taking office. The governor responded, and so did the Florida Supreme Court.
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Scott took away more than two dozen cases from Ayala's office after she said she wouldn't seek the death penalty.
Ayala said her decision not to seek re-election next year was made after the Florida Supreme Court sided with former Gov. Rick Scott in 2017.
Ayala said her values of truth, justice and humanity never changed, and her decision about the death penalty didn't either.
"I've been grappling with it literally since the start of my term. The weight of deciding if someone lives or dies is nothing to be taken lightly and it's one thing to have the conversation... but when it is your signature that starts the process of killing a human being, it's no longer about that human being, it's about your humanity," Ayala said.
Ayala announced Tuesday she would only be a one-term state attorney. She says she hasn't decided what she'll do when she leaves office in early 2021.
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Prosecutor: Father who killed kids is selfish, evil man.
A prosecutor says a South Carolina father who admitted he killed his five children isn't insane, but a selfish, evil man. In closing arguments during a death penalty trial Monday, Solicitor Rick Hubbard said Timothy Jones Jr. didn't hear voices, but made choices including not calling 911 and trying to hide the bodies after killing the children in their Lexington home in August 2014. Jones' lawyers are arguing he is not guilty by reason of insanity. Read More
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