House Bill 27 proposes that a unanimous vote by a jury is required to impose a death sentence. 

Background: House Bill 27 provides relief to approximately 33 people on Alabama’s death row who had juries that voted to sentence them to life without parole. In 2017, the practice of judicial override—where a judge can override the life verdict of a jury and sentence a defendant to death—was banned by the Alabama legislature but the new law was not applied to people on death row at the time. HB27 would give that law retroactive effect. 

Our Position: We support HB27. Alabama’s draconian practice of capital punishment is 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 Constitution makes clear that jury verdicts must be binding, and we should not have people on death row who received life without parole verdicts from their juries. 

Sponsors

Representative Chris England

Status

Introduced

Bill number

HB27

Position

Support