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.

Our Position

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. 

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Page last revised: February 22, 2022