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State Senate May Debate Bill Prohibiting Judicial Override

Senate floor
Alabama's Senate floor

The Alabama Senate may debate a bill later today that would prohibit judges from imposing a death sentence after a jury has already recommended life imprisonment.

Alabama is currently the only state in the country that allows judicial override of sentences in capital murder cases.

Republican Senator Dick Brewbaker says his bill to ban the practice is expected to come to the Senate floor for debate today. Brewbaker says judicial override in death penalty cases is contrary to the tradition of American justice that a jury from the community should determine both the verdict and sentence.

The Senate Judiciary Committee narrowly approved the bill earlier this session to put it in line for a floor vote. The House Judiciary Committee has approved similar legislation. That bill has not yet made it to the House floor.

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