House Judiciary tweaks death penalty rules
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A legislative committee has approved a bill that would prevent judges from imposing a death sentence when a jury has recommended life imprisonment.
The House Judiciary Committee passed the bill Wednesday afternoon that would give the final decision to a jury instead of a judge. Currently in Alabama, a jury recommends a sentence of death or life imprisonment in capital murder cases, but the judge hands down the final decision.
The bill by Tuscaloosa Rep. Chris England would prevent a judge from overriding the jury's wishes. It would also require all 12 jurors to agree to impose the death penalty.
The Senate Judiciary Committee last week narrowly passed a similar bill.