State lawmakers return from spring break Tuesday to a full plate of issues. State budgets, prison construction and action on the proposed impeachment of Governor Robert Bentley are among the matters set to be decided before the session ends in late May.
The State House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to end Alabama's practice that allows a judge to impose a death sentence when a jury has recommended life imprisonment. Alabama is the last state to still allow a judge to override a jury's sentencing recommendation in capital murder cases.
Senators approved the measure in February on a 30-1 vote. Since 1976, Alabama judges have overridden jury recommendations 112 times, according to the Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative. In 101 of those cases, the judges gave a death sentence.