JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As State Attorney Angela Corey fights to keep her job amid a contentious primary election, she lashed out on a Jacksonville radio program Wednesday against one of the biggest critics of her tough stance on the death penalty.
Darlene Farah, whose daughter, 20-year-old Shelby Farah, was gunned down in 2013 while working at a Metro PCS store, has been vocal in her opposition to Corey seeking the death penalty against Shelby's accused killer, James Rhodes.
In an interview with Rich Jones about the death penalty Wednesday morning on News 104.5 WOKV, Corey fired back, saying that Farah was more interested in publicity than in grieving for her daughter.
“It is a constitutional duty to consult with the victim, but the victim does not tell the State Attorney what sentence should be imposed in any case,” Corey told Jones. “We give their feelings great weight, and we have done that with the very vocal Darlene Farah, who appears to be more interested in publicity than actually grieving for her daughter. Why stir that case up? That case is still pending.”
Farah has been open about her opposition to the death penalty, saying she doesn’t want her family to endure years of appeals.
“I can't believe she said that, and I'm going to tell you why,” Farah said of Corey's comments on the radio. “Because I went to the State Attorney's Office one on one and kept the media out of it. I did not go public. I gave them a chance first.”
Farah also has openly endorsed Melissa Nelson, one of Corey’s opponents in the upcoming election.
Corey told News4Jax on Wednesday that she stands behind what she said on the radio.
“We have so many victims who have suffered just as much as Mrs. Farah who sit quietly and wait for justice, trusting us to follow the law,” Corey said. “Mrs. Farah should wait for justice to take its course.”
Because of concerns with Florida’s death penalty statute, Rhodes' trial will probably take place next year. He is expected to be back in court in October.