Ron DeSantis Is Expected To Sign A New Bill Allowing The Death Penalty For People Who Sexually Abuse Children
Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to announce his plans to run for president in 2024, is projected to approve a bill allowing the death penalty for anyone who commits sexual battery on children under 12.
According to several reports, legislators hope the bill will reverse a 2008 decision to forbid the death penalty for people who sexually abuse children.
Aaron Wayt of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers opposed the bill, saying America’s justice system should not be grounded in vengeance, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
Meanwhile, Lauren Book, a Democrat, who was sexually abused as an adolescent, encouraged voters to support the death penalty for sexual child abusers, according to CBS.
“There’s no statute of limitations that a victim suffers. This is a life sentence that is handed down to young children,” Book said, cited by Tallahassee Democrat.
CBS added that bill passed 34-5 and 95-14 by The Senate and The House, respectively. Gov. DeSantis is expected to sign soon.
Under the bill, juries would have to vote at least 8-4 for a judge to sentence an offender to death for sexual battery of a child. Also, a jury must find two aggravating factors from a list that will be included in the bill.
Rosalind Osgood, a member of the Florida State Senate, admitted that the new bill had been a “quandary” for her.
“I love kids, and I’ll do anything to protect them,” Osgood said, cited by CBS. “But I struggle from a faith perspective. If I believe in my faith that God can redeem and save anybody, then how do I support someone getting the death penalty? And I’m just talking about me. That’s my struggle. That’s my challenge.”
Former prosecutor Sen. Jason Pizzo said there are no rehabilitating people who sexually abuse children, adding that nothing is more “heinous” than an adult sexually touching a child, according to CBS.