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Alabama Big 10 Mayors: Alabama now a safer place due to Aniah’s Law

Judges will be able to deny bail to those who are likely to re-offend when charged with serious felonies.

Aniah Blanchard

The Alabama Big 10 Mayors today thanked Alabama voters for making Alabama safer by showing up at the polls and voting for Amendment 1 – Aniah’s Law.

Under current Alabama law, judges have limited authority to deny bail to violent offenders unless the suspect is charged with a capital offense or poses a flight risk. That means that dangerous criminals are often released back onto the streets, even when it is likely they will commit more violent crimes as soon as they make bail.

Now, after a majority of Alabama voters voted to pass Aniah’s Law in yesterday’s election, judges will be able to deny bail to dangerous offenders who are likely to reoffend when charged with serious felonies like murder, kidnapping, rape, sexual torture, domestic violence, human trafficking, burglary, arson, robbery, terrorism, or aggravated child abuse.   

“As mayors of Alabama’s ten largest cities, we understand the great responsibility we have to promote public safety in our communities. Early on, we identified Aniah’s Law as an issue in which we could use our collective influence to advocate for and make Alabamians safer,” said the Alabama Big 10 Mayors. “This amendment will give Alabama judges and District Attorneys the tools they need to keep violent criminals off the streets.

“Far too often, these offenders – who are often charged with crimes such as murder, rape and kidnapping – are released to re-commit more heinous crimes while they await trial. That flawed system led to the kidnapping and murder of 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard in October of 2019.”

The mayors continued: “Simply put, Aniah’s accused killer should have been in jail, and Aniah should still be alive. We were honored to help get this constitutional amendment across the finish line to protect Alabamians from suffering the same tragedy that befell Aniah and her family.

“We were proud to support this constitutional amendment and to have fought for its approval by Alabama voters. This is a big win for public safety in Alabama and will honor Aniah’s memory for generations to come.”

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The mayors concluded, “We will continue to collectively advocate for policy goals that make our state a better place for all Alabamians.”

Aniah’s Law, sponsored by Rep. Chip Brown, R-Mobile, was passed unanimously by the state legislature in April 2021, and was named in memory of 19-year-old Southern Union Community College student Aniah Blanchard, who was kidnapped and murdered in 2019. Her accused murderer was out on bail awaiting trial for charges of kidnapping, attempted murder, and robbery.

The mayors of Alabama’s ten biggest cities have joined together to address the state’s most important issues and to make Alabama a safer, better place for all of its residents. With three out of every four Alabamians living in their metro areas, the Alabama Big 10 Mayors play a key role in moving the state forward and keeping Alabama a great place to live, work, and raise a family.

Representing the largest cities in Alabama, the Alabama Big 10 Mayors include Auburn Mayor Ron Anders, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling, Dothan Mayor Mark Saliba, Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Madison Mayor Paul Finley, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox.

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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