WASHINGTON, D.C., January 12, 2016 – Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron released the following statement in response to today’s Supreme Court decision in Hurst v. Florida:

Today’s near-unanimous decision by the Supreme Court to strike down Florida’s death penalty sentencing scheme is a welcome reaffirmation of the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial, and should take us one step closer to joining the rest of the world’s democracies in eliminating the inhumane and unjust practice of capital punishment altogether.

If Florida, like other states, had required a binding, unanimous jury verdict before a death sentence could be returned, it would have imposed 70% fewer death sentences over the last five years. Today’s decision should bring Florida within the nationwide trend of declining death sentences, a trend that should lead the Supreme Court to stop merely tinkering with the machinery of death and dismantle it entirely.