HB 81 proposes a constitutional amendment that, if enacted, would result in significantly widening Alabama’s detention net. The proposed language expands the categories of people who can be denied bail to include people accused of offenses carrying a punishment of life imprisonment and life without parole.
The bill also takes away the right to bail and increases judicial discretion to detain anyone accused of a crime if the court finds that there are no conditions that can:
- ensure the person’s appearance,
- ensure the integrity of the judicial process (i.e., preventing obstruction or witness tampering), or
- address a risk of harm to the person accused or the community at large.
HB 113 enumerates the offenses offered in HB 81.
HB 81 was introduced by Rep. Brown on February 4, 2020. It was assigned to the House Judiciary committee where a public hearing was held on February 5, 2020 and February 19, 2020. On February 19, 2020, it was passed out of committee with an amendment that satisfies some constitutional concerns. It was then sent to the Alabama House where it passed on February 27, 2020 with an amendment. It has been sent to the Alabama House floor and is now pending House floor action.
SB 113 was introduced by Rep. Brown on February 4, 2020 and assigned to the House Judiciary committee. It passed out of committee on February 19, 2020 with an amendment that satisfies some constitutional concerns. It was then sent to the Alabama House floor where it passed on February 27, 2020 with an amendment. It has been sent to the Alabama House floor and is now pending House floor action.
- 3/11/2020 - Aniah’s Law on Alabama bail reform moves step closer to passing [AL.com]
- 3/9/2020 - ‘If it saves one life’: Aniah’s Law aims to change bail process [Shelby County Reporter]
- 2/28/2020 - Alabama House passes constitutional amendment to allow people accused of Class A felonies to be held without bail [Ballotpedia]
- 2/27/2020 - Alabama House of Representatives passes ‘Aniah’s Law’ - [Yellowhammer News]
- 2/22/2020 - 'Aniah’s Law’ would reform Alabama’s bail schedule, lawmaker says [WSFA]
- 2/20/2020 - Alabama House approves bill named for Aniah Blanchard, murdered stepdaughter of UFC fighter [ABC News]
- 2/20/2020 - House Judiciary Committee passes bail reform law named for Aniah Blanchard [Alabama Political Reporter]
- 2/19/2020 - Alabama House Judiciary Committee approves 'Aniah's Law' [WBMA]
- 11/14/2019 - Aniah Blanchard’s disappearance could lead to change in Alabama bond laws [WSFA]