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Aramis Ayala was elected Florida’s first Black state attorney last November, and has been making headlines this year with her bold stance against capital punishment. Ayala says she will not seek the death penalty in capital matters, which has ignited a battle with Florida Governor Rick Scott.

Ayala, a native of Saginaw, Michigan, attended school at the University of Michigan and the University of Central Florida before obtaining her law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Ayala’s rise in the legal field was delayed by a terminal cancer diagnosis that caused her to drop out of school. But after successfully combating the disease, Ayala resumed her studies and graduated.

Last March, Ayala announced her decision on capital punishment. In response, Gov. Scott took 20 cases from her schedule. The matter has been front and center in the local media with attorneys for both Ayala and Scott arguing in the state’s Supreme Court this week on how best to move forward. On Ayala’s end, she feels Gov. Scott  violated her constitutional right as a state’s attorney.

Ayala’s husband, David Ayala, helped shape her views on the criminal justice system, and was candid about it prior to her election. Mr. Ayala served seven years on drug and counterfeiting charges. The pair have been married since 2009. Their first date was to a church service in 2007. They have two daughters and reside in Orlando.

PHOTO: Aramis Ayala promo

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