DeSantis signs bill allowing death penalty without jury unanimity

The measure, approved last Thursday, considers the vote of eight of the twelve members to be sufficient.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law Thursday, a bill authorizing the death penalty with the vote of eight jurors instead of the 12 that were required until now. Last January, DeSantis had spoken in favor of this measure in a number of public statements. In the trial of Nikolas Cruz, the perpetrator of the Parkland school shooting, three of the twelve jurors voted for life imprisonment. "However, everyone knew Cruz was guilty. He himself admitted his responsibility for the death of 17 people. What other penalty can you receive other than the maximum penalty?" stated De Santis at the time.

At the time of the ratification of the legal bill, some family members of the victims of the massacre that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas School on February 14, 2018, were with the governor. Tony Montalto, whose daughter Gina Montalto died in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Hugh School shooting, thanked lawmakers for their work to move SB 450 forward. "This bill is about victims' rights, plain and simple. It allows victims of heinous crimes the opportunity to obtain justice and for the perpetrators to be punished to the fullest extent of the law," Montalto said in a press release. "Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard on this bill."