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Aramis Ayala, central Florida state attorney, won’t seek re-election

Her opposition to the death penalty is cited as a reason.
Aramis Ayala, the new chief prosecutor in Orlando, at a friend's home in in Windermere on Oct. 31, 2016. Ayala announced on March 16, 2017, that she would no longer seek the death penalty, a decision that has been met with both praise and criticism. (Zack Wittman/The New York Times)
Aramis Ayala, the new chief prosecutor in Orlando, at a friend's home in in Windermere on Oct. 31, 2016. Ayala announced on March 16, 2017, that she would no longer seek the death penalty, a decision that has been met with both praise and criticism. (Zack Wittman/The New York Times)
Published May 28, 2019

Florida's first African American state attorney says she won't seek re-election in 2020.

In a video posted on Facebook on Tuesday, Aramis Ayala said her decision stems from her opposition to the death penalty and a state Supreme Court decision that upheld the reassignment of dozens of cases to another state attorney because of her position on capital punishment.

Ayala said she's proud to have helped "raise the standard of prosecutorial responsibility."

State attorney’s office reviewing 1975 murder case recently featured in Times series

She defeated incumbent state attorney Jeff Ashton in 2016. The next year, she announced that she wouldn't seek the death penalty in cases handled by her office, saying it had been unevenly applied and wasn't a deterrent for serious crime.

That sparked a legal fight with then-Gov. Rick Scott, which went all the way to the Florida Supreme Court.