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March 31, 2006

Alabama legislature approves voluntary guidelines

As detailed in this article, after a very long reform process, the "Alabama Legislature gave final approval Thursday to three bills supported by Gov. Bob Riley to reform Alabama's sentencing procedures and help ease overcrowding in state prisons."  Specifically, the "key bill in the package would provide judges with a voluntary list of recommended sentences for various crimes."   I found this passage in the article especially interesting:

The sponsor of the legislation, Rep. Marcel Black, D-Tuscumbia, said the purpose of the bill setting voluntary sentencing guidelines was so that a person convicted of committing a crime in one part of the state will receive a similar punishment as a person convicted of the same crime in a different area.  But Black said judges will still have the option to give a lenient sentence or a harsher sentence when needed.  "Every theft case is not the same.  Every murder case is not the same," Black said.

Perhaps we might encourage state representative Black to take a meeting with federal representative Sensenbrenner (who apparently does not quite see the virtues of judicial discretion).

March 31, 2006 at 12:18 PM | Permalink


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I am interested in reviewing the state guidelines for criminals. My fiancee' was just given 17 yrs for robbery in the 1st degree. A case he caught in Shelby County. I would like to research similar cases in Shelby County and compare to his. Please give me some assistance on this matter. I feel as though there was an error on the judge's part. Please let me know.

Posted by: Lashandra Bell | Jun 2, 2007 8:32:36 PM

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