Prosecutors, judges back controversial prosecutor in filing

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) " Dozens of prosecutors and judges from across the nation have filed a legal brief in support of a Florida prosecutor who refuses to seek the death penalty.

The brief filed Friday with the Florida Supreme Court backs State Attorney Aramis Ayala's right to decide not to seek capital punishment in cases in her district covering the Orlando area.

After Ayala recently announced her decision, Florida Gov. Rick Scott removed her from about two dozen death penalty cases.

Ayala is challenging Scott's authority to do that before the Florida Supreme Court.

The brief filed Friday says Scott has no authority to interfere with Ayala's cases.

Separately, an investigation is underway after a noose was mailed to Ayala's office.

Ayala became Florida's first African-American state attorney when she was elected last year.

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Information from: Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com/

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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