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Alabama Lawmakers To Vote on "Judicial Override" Law


Alabama lawmakers will vote next month on the state's "judicial override" law. That statute current allows a judge to impose a death sentence when a jury has recommended life imprisonment. Alabama Public Radio covered this policy as part of its multi part series titled "...and justice for all." Alabama is the only state that allows a judge to do this.

The Alabama House of Representatives is scheduled to debate the bill on April 4th when lawmakers return from a two-week spring break. The Senate has already approved the measure. The bill is third on the proposed debate agenda for the day. The Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative says Alabama judges have overridden jury recommendations one hundred and twelve times since 1976. In 101 of those cases, the judges gave a death sentence. The legislation would only affect future capital cases, not inmates currently on Alabama's death row. Click below for APR's feature story on "judicial override."

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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