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Alabama Senate passes bill that would give juveniles convicted of capital murder a chance at parole after 40 years
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Thread: Alabama Senate passes bill that would give juveniles convicted of capital murder a chance at parole after 40 years

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    Alabama Senate passes bill that would give juveniles convicted of capital murder a chance at parole after 40 years

    The Alabama Senate passed a measure today that would give juveniles convicted of capital murder a chance at parole after serving 40 years in prison.

    The measure follows last year's U.S. Supreme Court decision Miller vs. Alabama, which found that automatic life sentences for juveniles convicted on murder charges was unconstitutional.

    Alabama Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and sponsored the bill.

    "Alabama had to do something to comply with Miller vs. Alabama," Ward said. "A juvenile convicted of a capital crime can't get the death penalty and the Supreme Court said the judge had to have another alternative to consider. The court said the judge had to consider 'relevant mitigating circumstances,' and we included that language, in choosing whether or not to send them to life in prison without parole or life in prison with parole after 40 years.

    "We feel like, and (Attorney General Luther Strange) feels like, with this we will be Miller compliant.

    The measure now goes to the Alabama House.

    "I feel very confident the House will pass it," Ward said. "To not pass it will leave our courts in a bit of a lurch."

    Currently, under Alabama law a capital murder conviction carries one of two sentences, life in prison without parole or the death penalty. Given that the high court has previously ruled defendants who were under 18 at the time of the crime cannot be put to death, Alabama was left without a sentencing option for similar cases. A life sentence without parole can still be given, but it can't be automatic, with no option to consider.

    Ward said he's been told the measure could affect perhaps more than two dozen current cases. The measure might also have an effect on the fortunes of juvenile defendants who were sentenced before last year's ruling.

    Courts around the U.S. have been split in deciding if the Supreme Court's ruling in Miller applies retroactively.

    Alabama has argued in appeals court filings that it is not retroactive. Ward said if an Alabama defendant is successful in persuading an appeals court that he should be granted a new sentence that includes the possibility of parole, the current measure will be able to guide Alabama judges on the new ".

    Critics of the measure have argued that it's took long before they get a chance at parole and issue that was raised in the debate on the bill, Ward said, and that giving only once chance at parole may not be legally valid.

    But Ward said the defendants under consideration in these cases are teens who have committed, pre-meditated murder, "the most serious, well thought-out and gruesome murders.

    "It's one shot. At the end of the day, if you're sentenced to life without parole, you'd never get a shot. After that length of time here, odds are either you're going to get parole or you're not

    "I would think in most cirucmstances that parole would be granted."

    http://blog.al.com/breaking/2013/03/...es_bill_c.html
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

  2. #2
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    I agree with this new law .. but only if they serve the entire 40 yrs. then go up for parole. Juvenile or not they killed a person and should pay the price what ever it may be.

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