Background: House Bill 14 proposes that a unanimous vote by a jury is required to impose the death sentence and provides that an individual may be resentenced if a judge overruled a jury’s original sentence to issue the death penalty. This is an act known as “judicial override”, which the Alabama Legislature voted to end in 2017. Now, over 30 individuals remain on Death Row in Alabama because a judge sentenced them to death despite the jury’s recommendation.
Our Position: We support HB 14. Alabama’s draconian practice of capital punishment is so inconsistent with the underlying values of our democratic system — the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness — that the imposition of the death penalty for any crime is a denial of civil liberties. The State must reconcile the cases that remain of individuals sentenced to death by the now-prohibited practice of judicial override.