Alabama House Approves Faster Path to Death Penalty

May 16, 2017

The Alabama House of Representatives approved a plan gto shorten death penalty appeals. Representatives voted seventy four to twenty six in favor of a bill that would pattern Alabama's process after the one used in Texas. It requires inmates to raise claims such as ineffective counsel at the same time as appeals claiming trial errors. Currently, inmates appeal trial errors first and then raise other issues. Senator Cam Ward is sponsoring the measure. He says it should drop the appeals time from about eighteen years to nine. The American Bar Association and others have raised objections to the bill. House member Chris England, a Tuscaloosa Democrat, argues it increases the chances that Alabama will execute an innocent person. The bill returns to the Alabama Senate where senators will decide whether to go along with House changes.