House Committee Passes Bill to Prevent Judicial Override in Alabama

Feb 15, 2017

 A legislative committee has approved a bill that would prevent judges from imposing a death sentence when a jury has recommended life imprisonment. 

Representative Chris England

The House Judiciary Committee passed the bill Wednesday afternoon that would give the final decision to a jury instead of a judge. Currently in Alabama, a jury recommends a sentence of death or life imprisonment in capital murder cases, but the judge hands down the final decision.

The bill by Tuscaloosa Representative Chris England would prevent a judge from overriding the jury's wishes. It would also require all 12 jurors to agree to impose the death penalty.

The Senate Judiciary Committee last week narrowly passed a similar bill.