trials for guilty plea

Alabama House members have moved forward with a bill to streamline courtroom procedures in cases where the defendant has entered a guilty plea.

Rep. Chris England of Tuscaloosa told fellow members of the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday that the three-day trial procedure in the Amy Bishop case cost the state nearly $500,000.

A hearing known as a "mini-trial" is held when a defendant will not face the death penalty. In those cases, the hearing serves no legal purpose.