Prosecutors decline death penalty for Keishanna Davis

- The woman accused of killing her 11-year old-daughter appears in court time after time, but is rarely caught speaking. 

Keishanna Thomas's daughter Janiya was found in a freezer. Keishanna is accused of starving, abusing, and ultimately, killing and stuffing the little girl's body there to be left for more than a year.

Publicly, Keishanna has never shown any remorse or concern. Thursday morning, the state attorney's office announced its decision not seek the death penalty, which came as a surprise to many.

Assistant State Attorney Art Brown said,"after review of the facts in this case and the law, this office determined not to seek the death penalty."

Derek Byrd of the Byrd Law Firm said those in the legal world are looking to the decision for answers on what Florida will do while working out details about how the death penalty is handed down.

"Without a question, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, probably even five years ago, that would have been a death penalty case," Byrd explained. 

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Florida's death penalty is unconstitutional because it gives the judge the final say, instead of the jury. The legislature is working on a fix, but the fix may also be challenged.

"I really think there is a state of flux regarding the constitutionally of our death penalty statue, as they are about to pass it," said Byrd.

Lawmakers are working on a bill that would require at least 10 out of 12 jurors to vote in favor of the death penalty before a defendant could be sentenced to death. The bill still needs to pass both the House and the Senate, before it can be sent to the Governor.

Even if it's signed into law, attorney Derek Byrd believes it will one day be struck down.

"I wouldn't be surprised if the state attorneys office is saying, 'hey look, looking forward, that law they are currently making is going to be held unconstitutional again.' So why go through the process of appeals, drag this thing on even longer and let her have a free appeal if they are making bad law," he said. 

A trial date for Keishanna has not been set, but her next court date is in March.

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