Rick Scott calls for ‘automatic death penalty’ for school shooters

Rick Scott
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., leaves the stage after speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2023, at the National Harbor, in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, March 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) Jose Luis Magana/AP

Rick Scott calls for ‘automatic death penalty’ for school shooters

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Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) said that there needs to be consideration about automatically giving the death penalty to school shooters after a shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, left three children and three adults dead.

Scott, who served as governor of Florida when the Parkland school shooting happened in 2018, expressed his prayers for the people who are “facing the unimaginable” in a tweet Monday.


“We need to consider an automatic death penalty for school shooters. Life in prison is not enough for the deranged monsters who go into our schools to kill innocent kids & educators. Pray for all facing the unimaginable in Nashville. This is horrible & must stop,” Scott tweeted.

The Florida lawmaker’s comments on the death penalty come as the Florida Senate is set to debate a bill this week that would modify the requirements for a convicted criminal to face capital punishment.

The proposed law, Senate bill 150, would lower the requirement from a unanimous vote of the jury to only requiring eight out of the 12 jurors to vote in favor of capital punishment.

A nearly identical bill in the state House, House bill 555, would also lower the requirement for the death penalty in the Sunshine State and is currently in the chamber’s judiciary committee. The House and Senate bills were introduced at the same time in January.

The law comes after uproar over the convicted shooter in the Parkland School Shooting escaping the death penalty despite the majority of the jury voting 9-3 in favor of his execution.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has expressed his desire for the death penalty requirement to be modified, saying in January that a “super-majority” or eight out of 12 jurors would be an improvement over the current system.

Florida’s current unanimous death penalty statute has been in place since 2017. The Supreme Court struck down the previous law, which permitted a simple majority to recommend capital punishment but also allowed a judge to override the recommendation.


The shooter in the Nashville school shooting was Audrey Hale, 28, who had previously attended the Christian school. Hale was shot and killed by two police officers, Rex Englebert and Michael Collazo.

Police say Hale was transgender, identifying as a man despite being a biological woman, and had a manifesto, but officials have not announced the motive.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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