Death Penalty For Child Rapists Approved In Florida

(AP)- The Florida Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that would allow the death penalty for people who commit sexual acts against children under age 12.

According to a report from CBS Miami, lawmakers are hoping that the bill will ultimately lead to the US Supreme Court reversing a 2008 decision that barred the death penalty for people who rape children.

The state House passed the bill last week.

The Senate voted 34-5 to pass the bill. The House voted 95-14 to approve the bill, which Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign.

“Under the bill, defendants could receive death sentences based on the recommendations of at least eight of 12 jurors. Judges would have discretion to impose the death penalty or sentence defendants to life in prison. If fewer than eight jurors recommend death, defendants would receive life sentences,” CBS Miami reports.

Currently, unanimous jury recommendations are required before judges can impose the death penalty in murder cases. But lawmakers also have passed a bill that would allow death sentences in murder cases after recommendations from eight of 12 jurors. DeSantis is also expected to sign that bill.

According to reports, the death-penalty bills would affect what is known as the “sentencing phase” of cases. Juries would still need to unanimously find defendants guilty of the crimes before the sentencing phase begins.