Bill would allow review of some habitual offender sentences
Some prisoners serving life sentences under Alabama’s habitual offender law could see their punishments reviewed under legislation that advanced Tuesday.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Some prisoners serving life sentences under Alabama’s habitual offender law could see their punishments reviewed under legislation that advanced Tuesday.
The Alabama House of Representatives voted 64-37 for the legislation that would establish a temporary review process for eligible inmates. The bill now moves to the Alabama Senate.
The bill would create an avenue for a judge to review sentences of some inmates serving life imprisonment under habitual offender laws. Only inmates sentenced before May 26, 2000 and where no one was physically injured during the crime would be eligible to have their sentences reviewed.
Rep. Chris England, the bill's sponsor, estimates that about 300 inmates, mostly given life sentences in their youth for crimes such as robbery, would be eligible for the one-time review. He said the state's habitual offender law has changed serval times and these people might not have gotten the same punishment today.
"My hope is that we find a bunch of individuals who are more than their worst moment," the Democrat said during debate.
The legislation would be automatically repealed within five years.
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