Bill seeks to eliminate mini trials for capital murder trials - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Bill seeks to eliminate mini trials for capital murder trials

Posted: Updated:
Senator Arthur Orr said it could save taxpayers across the state at least $1-million a year if it passes. Senator Arthur Orr said it could save taxpayers across the state at least $1-million a year if it passes.
  • More newsMore>>

  • Afghan suicide bomber kills 3 foreign troops

    Afghan suicide bomber kills 3 foreign troops

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 2:41 AM EDT2014-09-16 06:41:26 GMT
    A police official in Kabul says that a suicide car bomber has targeted a foreign convoy just a couple hundred yards (meters) from the U.S. Embassy.More >>
    A Taliban attacker detonated his car bomb next to an international military convoy on Tuesday, killing three troops from the NATO-led force and wounding nearly 20 troops and civilians, officials said.More >>
  • CoverGirl's NFL sponsorship ad used as anti-domestic violence message

    CoverGirl's NFL sponsorship ad used as anti-domestic violence message

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 1:29 AM EDT2014-09-16 05:29:37 GMT
    (RNN) – A sponsorship between cosmetic giant CoverGirl and the NFL is being tested during the league's nightmarish week of bad publicity in the wake of the Ray Rice domestic violence incident.CoverGirl, whose sponsorship tagline is the “official beauty sponsor of the NFL,” launched a campaign that targets beauty looks for all 32 NFL franchises. The campaign has been promoted with the tagline “get your #game face on.”On Sept. 11, Adele Stan, senior digital editor for The American Prospect, mad...More >>
    (RNN) – A sponsorship between cosmetic giant CoverGirl and the NFL is being tested during the league's nightmarish week of bad publicity in the wake of the Ray Rice domestic violence incident.CoverGirl, whose sponsorship tagline is the “official beauty sponsor of the NFL,” launched a campaign that targets beauty looks for all 32 NFL franchises. The campaign has been promoted with the tagline “get your #game face on.”On Sept. 11, Adele Stan, senior digital editor for The American Prospect, mad...More >>
  • National education report slaps Alabama with failing grades

    New report ranks Alabama among the worst in nation for student achievement

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 12:33 AM EDT2014-09-16 04:33:36 GMT
    Alabama schools received mostly failing grades in a new national report. The report by the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation ranks Alabama near the bottom when it comes to student achievement.More >>
    Alabama schools received mostly failing grades in a new national report. The report by the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation ranks Alabama near the bottom when it comes to student achievement. Alabama did an average job in some areas but overall, the report indicates significant improvement is needed.More >>
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Alabama Lawmakers hope to eliminate mini trials for capital murder trials with guilty pleas. The bill passed unanimously in the House of Representatives, and it should head to the senate judiciary committee on Wednesday.

The bill was sponsored by Representative Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) of District 70.  He said he was inspired to sponsor the bill by the Amy Bishop Anderson mini trial.  He said it ties up the court system, and he wants to eliminate that. 

"I think the bill can certainly save us money in our court system," said Senator Arthur Orr.  "It also brings us in the norm among the other states across the country. Right now, Alabama is outside of the norm in requiring an extra level of hearings in these capital cases and it's quite expensive to the taxpayers."

The bill is aimed to eliminate mini trials for capital murder trials where a guilty plea has already been entered, citing their unnecessary expense to the state.

Orr said the prices of trials varies by year, but it could save taxpayers across the state at least $1-million a year if it passes.

"It saves in not only tax payers' dollars but also in our judicial resources where you are tying up a courtroom, a judge, a jury sometimes for weeks on end - all for a verdict that is pretty much a foregone conclusion when the defendant has plead guilty," he said. 

Amy Bishop Anderson and Jacob Shaffer both had mini trials after pleading guilty to their capital murder charges.

Attorney Mark McDaniel said mini trials are a constitutional safe guard.

"It is an expense, one that can be and should be averted," he said.   

McDaniel thinks the bill is a good one, but it could face some opposition.

"If this act is passed, it will be contested as unconstitutional and capital defendants will say they have been deprived of their rights to due process and equal protection of the law and the 14th amendment," McDaniel said.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow