Parents say Aniah’s Law will save lives

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 7:20 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2021 at 9:07 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Thursday, Governor Kay Ivey held a ceremonial bill signing for Aniah’s Law. 19 year old Aniah Blanchard from Homewood was kidnapped and murdered in Auburn in 2019.

Aniah’s family was on hand in Montgomery for the signing and watched as Governor Ivey made Aniah’s Law official. They hope the new law will protect others from individual’s accused of violent crimes who are out of jail on bond.

“I know Aniah’s death is going to mean something. It is going to save a lot of lives,” Angela Harris, Aniah’s mother said.

Aniah was kidnapped from an Auburn convenience store in October of 2019. Her disappearance garnered national attention. Her parents hoped she would be found alive. But, her body was discovered a month later in Macon County.

Ibraheem Yazeed has been charged for her murder. Yazeed was out of jail at the time, even though he had been charged with attempted murder, kidnapping and first-degree robbery in a previous crime.

“it brings joy to my heart the state saw fit and saw the need for a bill such as this. To keep those criminals with those [type] crimes from being out on the street so they can’t hurt anybody else’s children,” Elijah Blanchard, Aniah’s father said.

Aniah’s Law will give judges more leeway to consider keeping those accused of violent acts in jail. The push to create the law has been ongoing for the last three years. Aniah’s parents helped lobby lawmakers to eventually pass the bill.

“She is able to impact other people’s lives and help other children and other children’s parents from having to go through the tragedy the Blanchard family and the Harris family has gone through,” Blanchard said.

This week would have been Aniah’s 21st Birthday. Her mother says the law is a wonderful belated birthday present. “This would be her big birthday present. I know Aniah is happy. She loved people and she wanted to save as many people as she could,” Harris said.

Angela Harris said the state needs more laws to make restrictions tougher on violent criminals. Elijah Blanchard hoped parents will be more mindful of their children are and using technology to keep track of them. All said this has been an emotional journey for all of Aniah’s family.

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