Senate Version Requiring Unanimous Verdict Passes Committee

A bill requiring a jury to have a unanimous verdict for recommending the death penalty is moving through the Florida Senate.

The legislation (SB 7068) passed the Criminal Justice Committee on Monday.

Last week, the House passed a measure that requires only nine of 12 jurors to recommend capital punishment. Both chambers would prohibit a judge imposing the death penalty if the jury recommends life in prison without parole. A judge though could decide on life in prison, even if the jury recommends death.

Both chambers are tasked with revising Florida's sentencing process after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the current method unconstitutional last month because it allowed a judge to decide independently whether there were necessary aggravating circumstances.

Sen. Greg Evers says he believes there are enough votes in the Senate for the bill to pass.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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