MIAMI.- Florida Governor Ron Desantis on Thursday signed legislation that eliminates the requirement for a unanimous jury verdict to sentence a person to death and was promoted following the perpetrator of the Parkland massacre, Nikolas Cruz, is going to be saved from capital punishment for this reason.

Once this law comes into effect, a Florida judge will be able to impose the death penalty on a convict if 8 of the 12 jurors recommend it, which amounts to returning to the situation before 2017, when unanimity began to be required. at the request of the Supreme Court of the United States.

However, in this, as in other things like abortion, the Supreme Court seems to have changed its doctrine, since only a few days ago it only granted a request for clemency to a prisoner in Florida by a simple majority of the jury. and authorized therefore it was executed.

It has not been specified when the law will come into force and whether or not it will apply retroactively.

Republican DeSantis announced in 2022 that he wanted a return to simple majority killing because he was unhappy that the confessed perpetrator of the 2018 Parkland high school shooting that left 17 dead, Nikolas Cruz, took the deprived of capital punishment because the jury’s vote was not unanimous.

Relatives of some of Cruz’s victims have expressed satisfaction with the legal change that has now been finalized with the governor’s signature.

According to data from the Florida Department of Corrections (Prisons), there are currently nearly 300 inmates on “death row”, as the place where those who are to be executed are known.

The oldest prisoner is 80-year-old Ecuadorian Nelson Serrano, who was convicted of three murders he still claims not to have committed and whose case is considered by human rights organizations as a legal scandal.

The law signed today is one of several passed by the Republican-dominated Florida Congress in its current session at the request of DeSantis.

The governor has yet to officially announce his intentions, but there are plenty of signs that he is already on the campaign trail, starting with the attacks on him by his former political godfather, former President Donald Trump, who aspires to be the Republican candidate in the 2024 presidential election.

Legal changes approved since March affect aspects such as reproductive rights, carrying and possessing weapons, education in public schools, and sexual orientation and education.

The Florida Department of Education on Wednesday approved the extension to secondary education of the controversial “Don’t say gay” law that prohibits teachers from discussing gender identity and sexual orientation.

This law, officially called “Parental Rights in Education”, is already in effect between kindergarten and third grade and has now been extended to all K-12s, as the public education system through high school is known.

Under the law, signed by the Republican governor in March 2022, parents will have the ability to sue the school district and receive damages if they violate this provision.

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