Alabama ends death penalty by judicial override

PHOTO: Kay Ivey walks in to be sworn in as the next Governor of Alabama, April 10, 2017, in Montgomery, Ala.

(Butch Dill/Butch Dill)  Kay Ivey walks in to be sworn in as the next Governor of Alabama, April 10, 2017, in Montgomery, Ala.

 

 

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Apr 11, 2017, 6:30 PM ET

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed a bill ending the state’s one-of-a-kind practice of allowing judges to sentence a person to death when a jury has recommended life imprisonment.

Ivey spokeswoman Eileen Jones confirmed the move Tuesday. Alabama was the last state in the country to allow judges to override a jury when sentencing capital murder cases.

Montgomery Republican Sen. Dick Brewbaker sponsored a version of the bill and says it is in the interest of justice. It passed the House last week after a rare showing of bipartisan support in the Republican-controlled legislature.

The legislation will only apply to future capital cases and not affect the 183 inmates currently on Alabama’s death row.

The Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative says Alabama judges have overridden jury recommendations 112 times since 1976.

 

 

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/alabama-ends-death-penalty-judicial-override-46739056