This bill would repeal Alabama's Habitual Felony Offender Act (HFOA), provide for resentencing for defendants whose sentences were based on HFOA, and revise sentencing standards in certain circumstances.
We support this bill. Currently, HFOA creates widespread sentencing disparity and unjustly incarcerates too many people for far too long. Overly punitive policies like the habitual offender law have contributed to Alabama's horrendously overcrowded prisons.
Despite new sentencing guidelines, lawmakers left HFOA on the books for prosecutors to use at their discretion. This adds to sentencing disparities and creates a “trial tax,” in which individuals who don’t accept plea deals face a much longer possible sentence. HFOA has essentially been weaponized to pressure people to plead guilty.
Follow Along on FastDemocracy!
Click the play button below to see more information about HB 56 and other priority criminal legal reform bills — including where they are in the Legislature, the latest versions, and how you can sign up for e-mail updates from Fast Democracy.
- Following the 2022 Legislative Session
- Alabama's Campaign for Smart Justice
- Video: Alabama's Habitual Felony Offender Act Explained
- Handout: HFOA - Driving Mass Incarceration Since 1977 [PDF]
Page last revised: February 22, 2022