TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 450 in his office together with parents of victims of the Parkland school shooting.
The new law reforms Florida’s death penalty statutes and reduces the number of jurors needed to sentence someone to death by capital punishment. Juries may now impose the death penalty with a supermajority of eight out of 12.
“Once a defendant in a capital case is found guilty by a unanimous jury, one juror should not be able to veto a capital sentence,” said Governor DeSantis. “I’m proud to sign legislation that will prevent families from having to endure what the Parkland families have and ensure proper justice will be served in the state of Florida.”
Ryan Petty, the father of Alaina, said Florida endured a tragic failure of the justice system when school shooter Nikolas Cruz was sentenced to life in prison last November.
“I’d like to thank Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for this important legislation,” said Petty.
Hunter Pollack, the brother of Meadow, said: “While we cannot go back and change the past, we can ensure that no community will ever have to endure the injustice and pain that we did when the Parkland shooter did not receive the death penalty.”
“This bill is about victims’ rights, plain and simple. It allows the victims of heinous crimes a chance to get justice and have the perpetrators punished to the full extent of the law,” said Tony Montalto, father of Gina.
Senator Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill) said the victims of the most evil crimes deserve justice and their families deserve to see criminals punished to the full extent of the law.