House to debate death penalty legislation - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

House to debate death penalty legislation

(Source: WSFA 12 News file photo) (Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama House of Representatives is headed toward contentious debate on a bill to shorten death penalty appeals.

Representatives on Tuesday evening will debate the bill to require inmates to raise claims such as ineffective counsel at the same time as direct appeal claiming trial errors.

Sen. Cam Ward, the bill's sponsor, says the current process can take decades and is often abused. Ward says the bill is based on Texas procedures and would shorten the time that appeals take from 18 to 9 years.

American Bar Association President Linda Klein sent lawmakers a letter opposing the bill, saying it increases the likelihood that an innocent person will be executed.

Opposed lawmakers are expected to mention the case of an Alabama inmate freed after nearly 30 years on death row.

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