Beyond Guilt: the View of a Miami Juror on the Sentence in a Historic Death Penalty Case

Beyond Guilt: The View of a Miami Juror on the Sentence in a Historic Death Penalty Case

Miguel Ruiz Lobo, who was found guilty of murdering Marta Guzman, who was 11 years old, has been in prison for a week already after a jury of 12 people recommended that he be sentenced to life in prison. Two sentences of life in prison were imposed on Ruiz Lobo by a court in Miami-Dade County.

Alexander Merritt, a member of the jury, described this case as “emotionally challenging” in an interview that was conducted exclusively by NBC6.

Merritt, who served as the spokesperson for the jury throughout the trial, vividly recalls the harrowing 911 phone call that Guzman’s sister made when she discovered her younger sister with her wrists and neck severed.

“The 911 call just brought me to tears hearing someone in that much panic, especially about your sister, that hit me really hard,” said Merritt.

“It was especially hard for me to hear about your sister,” Merritt stated that it was evident that Ruiz Lobo was the one who murdered Guzman based on the emotional testimonials, DNA evidence, and video surveillance.

The difficult discussion, on the other hand, took place when it came time to decide whether or not Ruiz Lobo should be sentenced to death or life in prison.

However, according to Merritt, nearly half of the jury members had a different opinion on the matter. He believed that going to prison was the preferable option. “I’m locking someone in for premeditated murder, and they’re asking me to premeditate the killing of someone else.

If now is the moment to protect or defend ourselves, then so be it,” Merritt continued. During the trial of Ruiz Lobo, Governor Ron DeSantis approved a measure that did away with the requirement of a unanimous vote in order to propose the death penalty.

The current minimum number of jurors who must be present is eight. Nevertheless, the court addressed the legislative changes during the trial, and it was made abundantly clear that the trial would adhere to the previous law. NBC6 wanted to know from Merrit if the newly passed statute would have altered the result of the case if it had been in existence at the time.

“I believe it would have changed it dramatically,” he remarked. It would have been very recent in their thoughts. In light of the fact that DeSantis supporters, I believe they would have voted for the death penalty even if they were aware of it.

According to the Florida Department of Corrections, as of this past Monday there were 297 prisoners waiting on death row in the state of Florida.

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, the new rule might result in an increase in the number of people put to death.

At this time, Florida has one of the lowest standards to meet in order to be eligible for the death penalty, as compared to both the military and the federal government, as well as all of the other states. Merritt and the Guzman family feel that justice has been done in this situation.

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