Supporting Prosecutorial Independence

Munger, Tolles & Olson filed an amicus brief on behalf of judges and prosecutors in support of Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala, who is fighting an effort by Gov. Rick Scott to remove her from prosecuting 23 homicide cases based on her death penalty stance.

Filed on April 21, 2017, the amicus brief backs Ms. Ayala’s effort to remain on the re-assigned cases after she declined to pursue the death penalty in a high-profile double homicide case.

The current and former judges and prosecutors state in the brief that, although they may have differing opinions on the death penalty, they all share grave concerns about the governor interfering with prosecutorial independence.

“[W]hen one state actor usurps the responsibilities allocated to another, the balance [of judicial roles] is upset, and the legitimacy of the judicial system is called into question,” the brief states.

The Munger Tolles team includes Mark B. Helm, Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., Chad I. Golder, Sarah G. Boyce, and John F. Muller.