Tallahassee, FL - The Florida Supreme Court threw out the death penalty in the case of Brandon Bradley, who murdered Brevard County Deputy Barbara Pill in 2012.
According to WFTV, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that Bradley has to be resentenced because the jury in his first trial was not unanimous in its choice of the death penalty.
This comes after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in January 2017 that Florida's previous death penalty law gave too much power to the Judge to decide if a defendant receives the death penalty.
In 2012, Deputy Barbara Pill had pulled Bradley's vehicle over after a 911 call had been received that he had stolen motel furniture. She asked him multiple times to get out of the vehicle, according to The Orlando Sentinel.
Bradley refused to get out of the vehicle and instead began to move the vehicle forward slightly. He shot Deputy Pill five times as she reached inside to remove the keys from the ignition.
Bradley was found guilty in 2014 of First-Degree Murder, Robbery, Fleeing and Eluding, and Resisting Arrest with Violence. His accomplice, Andrea Kerchner, pleaded guilty to Accessory and Burglary charges. She was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
The jury's vote was 10 - 2. In November, 2016, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the jury vote must be unanimous for a sentence of the death penalty to be constitutional.
Unlike State Attorney Aramis Ayala, State Attorney Phil Archer says that he will week justice. Archer said that his office would review the case but that "it is hard to imagine a scenario in which my office would not continue to seek the death penalty."
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Brevard County Deputy Barbara Pill. Justice should have been served in this case many years ago. We hope that it will be soon. It is unthinkable that Bradley should not be given the death penalty.
Do you think that the death penalty should be mandatory for any cop-killer? We'd like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.