MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A divided legislative committee has advanced a bill to repeal Alabama’s habitual offender law that mandates longer sentences for repeat offenders.
The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved the bill on a 9-5 vote.
The bill by Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, would do away with the sentencing mandates for new cases and allow some prisoners to have their sentences reviewed.
England said the mandatory sentences in habitual offender laws have resulted in arbitrarily long sentences.
The bill now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives, but faces an uncertain future with 13 meeting days remaining in the legislative session.