Alabama senate to debate judicial override in death penalty cases

(CBSN)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Senate could debate a bill that would prohibit judges from imposing a death sentence when a jury has recommended life imprisonment.

Alabama is the only state that allows judicial override of sentences in capital murder cases.

Republican Sen. Dick Brewbaker of Pike Road says his bill to ban the practice is expected to come to the Senate floor for debate Thursday.

Brewbaker says judicial override in death penalty cases is contrary to the tradition of American justice that a jury from the community should determine both the verdict and sentence.

The Senate Judiciary Committee narrowly approved the bill earlier this session to put it in line for a floor vote.

The House Judiciary Committee has approved similar legislation. That bill has not yet come to the floor.

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