The absurd world of politics

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Let me tell you about politics.

Early Tuesday afternoon, as the Alabama Legislature was about to start up its fourth week of work, there was the usual mishmash of people milling around inside and outside of the State House.

Conservative and Liberal groups. Lobbyists by the dozen. There was a pro-life rally. Arise Alabama was having its Legislative Day, with members walking the halls and speaking to lawmakers.
Read More

Bill to end judicial override in Alabama clears Senate

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — A bill that would end Alabama’s judicial override sentencing system, which allows judges to override juries and impose the death penalty, passed the State Senate Thursday with a near-unanimous vote.

Sen. Dick Brewbaker (R-Montgomery), sponsored the bill, which would prohibit a judge from overriding a jury’s sentence. Under the bill, at least 10 of 12 jurors must vote for death for a defendant to receive the sentence.

Read More

The rare, bipartisan push to end judicial override in Alabama

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

There was a rare show of bipartisanship during Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee meeting, and even rarer step taken to end a long-outdated practice.

A bill that would bring an end to judicial override – the power that only Alabama now grants judges to overturn the decisions of juries and sentence a defendant to death – passed through the committee with bipartisan support.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) now goes to the floor for a vote.
Read More

General Fund uncertainty may hinder more criminal justice appropriations

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—The Alabama Medicaid Agency isn’t the only part of the State government with funding issues, and uncertainty over the future of Medicaid is spilling over into other agencies’ funding as well.

The Alabama Legislature will begin its regular legislative session in just a few weeks. As lawmakers prepare, the session will bring another stint of debate over the State’s beleaguered General Fund budget, the budget that funds all noneducational agencies of the State government.

Read More

Alabama judicial override safe from Supreme Court review

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—The US Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a challenge to Alabama’s system of judicial override for the death penalty from several death-row inmates in the State.

In a list of orders on pending cases released Monday, the Court denied certiorari in the case of Thomas Arthur v. Alabama. Arthur and two other death-row inmates petitioned the high court in November to review Alabama’s death row laws.

Read More

Death to judicial override

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

During my years as an editorial writer for The Birmingham News, I spent much of that time opposed to the death penalty. The death penalty should be abolished; clearly, innocent people have been killed by the State of Alabama. A number have been released from Death Row after being exonerated at some point, barely dodging the electric chair or, now, the needle.

Eventually, my colleagues and I wrote a week-long series telling readers why The News was changing its position on the death penalty. We explained our reason for transforming from a newspaper that supported the death penalty into one that now strongly opposed it. Read More

Brewbaker bill will end judicial override in capital murder cases

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

In Alabama, even when a jury recommends someone only receive life in prison, a trial judge in a capital murder case can ignore that recommendation and impose the death penalty. Sen. Dick Brewbaker (R-Montgomery) wants to change this practice, known as “judicial override.”

“The US Supreme Court has made it pretty clear that they do not like it and think this is a bad practice,” said Brewbaker in a phone interview with The Alabama Political Reporter. “Now that Delaware and Florida have gotten rid of it, Alabama is the only state that still practices it.”
Read More

© Copyright 2017 Alabama Political Reporter