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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – A bill that would require unanimous jury recommendations before defendants could be sentenced to death has cleared the state Senate’s Rules Committee.

It’s now ready for a full Senate vote next month.

Last October, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that a law requiring only 10 of 12 jurors to recommend death was unconstitutional. As a result, the Senate and House are moving toward requiring unanimous jury recommendations.
Lawmakers are expected to pass the change shortly after the annual legislative session starts March 7.

“I think it is time now that (if) we send someone to death if we are to do that, that all of one’s peers need to agree,” bill sponsor Randolph Bracy said. “So for the sake of our justice system, and for the sake of fairness, I think that unanimity should be required to send someone to death.”

The state’s death penalty has been on hold since January 2016 because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and state Supreme Court decisions.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.


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