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Talladega voters to consider stand your ground, ban on sewage as a fertilizer

One would extend stand your ground principles to any church in Talladega County. The second would ban sewage from being used as a fertilizer in the county.

Talladega County voters will be voting on two local amendments to the Alabama Constitution. One would extend stand your ground principles to any church in Talladega County. The second would ban sewage from being used as a fertilizer in the county.

The first Talladega County amendment provides that a person is not liable for using deadly physical force in self-defense or in the defense of another person on the premises of a church under certain conditions.

The certain conditions are defined in the accompanying statute. A “yes” vote on this means that someone who is injured or killed by deadly physical force in an altercation in a church has an arguably more difficult burden in seeking compensation from the court system.

A “no” vote does not mean that you cannot defend yourself from a clear and present danger even when in church. Alabama is a stand your ground state. You are under no legal obligation to attempt to flee from a threat before defending yourself.

A “yes” vote would, at least in theory, give Talladega County churches some enhanced degree of immunity from culpability if a member of their congregation or their security team use deadly force to deal with a threat. These issues would likely be heavily debated in any future litigation that might result from such an incident.

The second local amendment to the Constitution of Alabama would say septage may not be applied on land as a fertilizer or soil amendment or otherwise.

Human waste can be used to improve soil fertility in order to grow crops for grain or grass for grazing or hay. In theory, this returns nutrients that we get from our food and restores them to the land our food comes from. In practice, however, neighbors claim that there is an obnoxious odor produced when human solid wastes are spread on a field and that odor can linger as those wastes breakdown.

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A number of northern Alabama counties have banned the practice. Some water treatment systems also spray so-called brown water on fields in a similar manner.

If an amendment is complicated or you don’t understand it, a “no” vote is always the safest option. A “no” vote does nothing but keep the Alabama Constitution the way that it already is. A “yes” amendment on any amendment changes the Alabama Constitution from what it is currently to what the Legislature wants it to be.

Alabama has the largest Constitution in the world. At this point, the Alabama Constitution has 946 amendments and the Legislature is asking Alabama voters to approve numerous amendments in this election.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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