The state of Florida is seeking for the first time to use the death penalty against a man accused of sexually abusing a child.
A grand jury indicted of Joseph Andrew Giampa on six counts of Sexual Battery Upon a Person Under Twelve Years of Age and three counts of Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child.
State Attorney William Gladson of the Fifth Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office said that due to the severity of the alleged crimes, his office intends to seek the death penalty pursuant to Florida Statutes 794.011(2)(a) and 921.1425.
Giampa was arrested by Lake County sheriff’s deputies on November 2 after they arrived at his home to question him.
Giampa showed deputies a video that was on a laptop in his camper that allegedly depicted him “sexually abusing a child while recording the act,” The Tampa Bay Times reported.
During the video, the man who was recording it put down the recording device and stepped in front of it, at which point deputies identified the man as Giampa.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis threw his support behind seeking the death penalty for Giampa.
“Today, @flsao5 announced that they will seek the death penalty in a case of sexual battery against a child under age 12,” DeSantis said. “It will be the first case to challenge SCOTUS since I signed legislation to make pedophiles eligible for the death penalty. @flsao5 has my full support.”
Today, @flsao5 announced that they will seek the death penalty in a case of sexual battery against a child under age 12.
It will be the first case to challenge SCOTUS since I signed legislation to make pedophiles eligible for the death penalty.
@flsao5 has my full support.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) December 14, 2023
DeSantis signed House Bill 1297 into law back in the Spring which imposes the death penalty on pedophiles who “commit sexual battery against children under the age of 12,” the governor’s office said.
The governor said that he was prepared to take the fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court “to overrule judicial precedents which have unjustly shielded child rapists from the death penalty and denied victims and their loved ones the opportunity to pursue ultimate justice against these most heinous criminals.”
DeSantis also signed a bill into law that drops the requirement for a death sentence to be handed out to a convicted criminal from a unanimous vote for jurors to only 8 out of 12 jurors.