Judge Strikes Down Death Penalty System, Alabama Money Expo Comes to Birmingham

Mar 4, 2016

Credit EJI

A Jefferson County judge has ruled Alabama’s method of imposing the death penalty unconstitutional.

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Tracie Todd sided with defense attorneys who argued that Alabama’s death penalty statute was extremely similar to Florida’s, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Florida’s law was unconstitutional in January.

In death penalty cases in Alabama and Florida, juries recommend sentences but judges have the final decision. It’s not uncommon for Alabama judges to overrule a jury suggestion of life in prison and impose the death penalty.

After the U.S. Supreme Court declared Florida’s version of that system unconstitutional, the state legislature recently passed a bill to overhaul the law.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says his office is reviewing Judge Todd’s order and he expects to file an appeal.

People from as far away as Colorado will be traveling to Alabama to give residents sound financial advice.

The third annual Alabama Money Expo is being held tomorrow at George Washington Carver High School in Birmingham. The event will offer assistance on money management topics such as buying a car and how to get grants for college.

Stuart Welch III is the honorary Co-Chair for the Alabama Money Expo. He says the expo will be able to help anybody no matter how much or little they know about various financial issues.

“A lot of people just don’t know where to start when it comes to investing and they don’t know where to start where it comes to their wills and so we’ve developed both basic educational tracks and advanced educational tracks. There is literally something there for everyone.”

Welch says people are advised to register for the event as they are expecting up to 2000 people to attend.

A Prattville-based Alabama Army National Guard unit is making its way home.

The 217th Military Police Company is returning after being deployed for nine months overseas as part of Operation Freedom's Sentinel. Lieutenant Colonel Shannon Hancock is an Alabama National Guard public affairs officer. She says the soldiers should expect a very warm reception when they get home.

“The city of Prattville is doing a fantastic job to welcome them home, they’re very proud of their soldiers, so Mayor Gillespie and the chamber, everyone there is pulling out all the stops to welcome the soldiers home.”

Hancock adds that the Alabama National Guard doesn’t just serve nationally, they also serve locally. The welcome home service will take place this evening at 7 p.m. at the Doster Memorial Community Center in Prattville.

The ride-hailing service Uber is setting up shop in Huntsville.

Uber says service in Huntsville is expected to start at 4 p.m. this afternoon, though unforeseen last-minute technical glitches could change that slightly.

The Huntsville City Council approved a revision to the city's vehicle for hire ordinance in February, allowing ride sharing companies like Uber to operate inside the city. However, one location Uber is not yet cleared to operate is the Huntsville International Airport.