BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Lawmakers in the Alabama House unanimously passed Aniah’s Law Tuesday, February 23, 2021.
The bond reform bill could stop some suspects accused of violent crimes from bonding out of jail.
More than 90 state lawmakers signed on to co-sponsor the bill which passed the house 101-0. It now goes to the Senate.
State Representative Chip Brown who sponsored the bill said on Friday, October 23, a year after Aniah Blanchard was kidnapped, Brown said “Today is a somber day because of what occurred a year ago, but it’s hopeful. I think this legislation gives hope to me and hope to people like the Blanchard and Harris family, the lives of other Alabamians might be saved.”
Aniah’s mother, Angela Hailey-Harris, has traveled across the state and spoken about her daughter and the bill. A Cullman family, who lost an uncle, is now supporting Harris as well.
Harris said, “My mission now is to save the world that is how I feel. I know I can’t save the world, but I’m gonna try. Aniah’s Law is one of the most amazing things. Our state needs it so bad. It will keep violent offenders from being out on the street out on bond.”
Representative Brown believes the third time’s a charm for Aniah’s Law. Brown worked to get his bill through in 2019. It passed the house, but the legislative session ran out of time.
Brown was back at work to get the bill through this year and then the pandemic hit.
If passed, Aniah’s law would allow judges to deny bond for violent felonies like murder, rape, or kidnapping, because right now they can only deny bond in capital cases.
The man accused of killing Aniah was already facing serious offenses, but was out on bond at the time of her murder.