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Florida Challenges Supreme Court in Capital Case With No Death

In a first for Florida, prosecutors will pursue capital punishment against a man accused of raping a child where no death occurred, under a new law that runs counter to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment precedent, Law and Crime reports. The Fifth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Office filed court documents stating its intent to seek the death penalty against Joseph Andrew Giampa, 36, who was indicted by a grand jury on six counts of sexual battery on a child under age 12 and three counts of promoting a sexual performance of a child. Prosecutors said they want to put Giampa to death due to “the severity of the crime and its impact on the community.”

The notice filed in Lake County Circuit Court lists numerous aggravating factors, which prosecutors say require the state to seek the death penalty. Such factors include that the crime was committed for “pecuniary gain,” it was “especially heinous,” the victim was “particularly vulnerable,” and Giampa had previously been convicted of a violent felony. “The decision to pursue the highest penalty reflects the gravity of the charges and the prosecutors' dedication to holding criminals accountable for their actions,” said State Attorney William “Bill” Gladson. “The State Attorney’s Office acknowledges the sensitivity of this matter and the impact it has on the community. Our commitment to ensuring justice and protecting the vulnerable remains unwavering.” A probable cause affidavit said authorities responded on Nov. 2 to Giampa’s home about a possible sexual battery. Once there, deputies detained Giampa. In his camper, deputies said there was a computer with a video showing an adult sexually assaulting a child under 12.


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