State House to Consider Judicial Override Bill

Feb 28, 2017

The Alabama House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on a bill prohibiting judges from imposing a death sentence after a jury recommends life imprisonment.

Alabama is the only state that allows judicial override of jury sentence recommendations in capital murder cases.

Lawmakers sponsoring the legislation will hold a press conference later today in Montgomery.

The Alabama Senate approved a similar bill by Republican Sen. Dick Brewbaker last week. House members could vote as soon as today on their version, sponsored by Rep. Chris England, a Democrat from Tuscaloosa.

According to the Equal Justice Initiative. Alabama judges have overridden jury recommendations 112 times. In 101 of those cases, the judges imposed a death sentence.

England's bill also requires jurors to unanimously agree to impose a death sentence.