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New hardship driver’s license rule will allow thousands of Alabamians to meet basic needs

A new rule could make it easier for many Alabamians to meet their basic needs. This change will allow tens of thousands of people who lost their driver’s licenses for reasons unrelated to public safety to apply for a hardship license from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA). The new regulation took effect Sunday. Some [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
January 16, 2019
Author
Dev Wakeley
Fact Sheet

SB 55: Allowing ALEA to issue hardship driving permits makes sense for Alabama

Update: SB 55 is now law! Gov. Kay Ivey signed the bill on March 22, following votes in the Alabama House (95-1) and Senate (26-1) to pass a conference committee version of the bill on March 15. Earlier, the House voted 88-5 for a similar version on March 1, while the Senate voted 26-1 for [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
March 22, 2018
Author
Dev Wakeley
Fact Sheet

Criminal justice debt: A modern-day debtors’ prison

It is illegal to jail a person in the United States simply because he or she owes money.But Alabama has no set process for courts to determine if a defendant can afford to pay fees and fines. And despite a prohibition on “debtors’ prisons,” thousands of Alabamians are at risk of going to jail or [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
January 25, 2018
Author
Carol Gundlach
Fact Sheet

Juries matter: Why Alabama must end judicial override

The right to a trial by jury is one of the most sacred elements of the American criminal justice system. The basic principle of being judged by a jury of peers is a cornerstone of a nation built on a populist spirit and suspicion of elites. But in Alabama, members of a jury in a capital [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
February 15, 2017
Author
Stephen Stetson
Fact Sheet

Death is different: Reforming Alabama’s capital punishment system

How sure are you that human beings will get it right every single time? A single small mistake in a death penalty case could result in an unjust execution – an error that can never be corrected. People accused of capital crimes deserve every possible safeguard to ensure the integrity of a conviction. Several bills [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
March 7, 2016
Author
Stephen Stetson
Fact Sheet

‘Ban the box’ law would help rebuild lives in Alabama

How sure are you that human beings will get it right every single time? A single small mistake in a death penalty case could result in an unjust execution – an error that can never be corrected. People accused of capital crimes deserve every possible safeguard to ensure the integrity of a conviction. Several bills [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
March 4, 2016
Author
Stephen Stetson
Fact Sheet

Against the tide: The death penalty in Alabama

In Alabama, the death penalty is a curious exception to concerns about government efficiency. When it comes to executing people, a majority of Alabamians appear to trust the government to get it right every time. Lack of transparency in our capital punishment system prompts little public comment. Similarly, on the fiscal side, calls for reducing Alabama's [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
December 6, 2012
Author
Stephen Stetson
Fact Sheet

A temporary halt: Alabama’s executions

Alabama has a long and tangled history with the death penalty. A Tuskegee University archive preserves the grim evidence of the "lynch law" that long terrorized African Americans. The state's historic enthusiasm for legal executions, which remains strong, bears the stain of racism as well. One measure of the problem is the frequency of national court [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
January 6, 2012
Author
Stephen Stetson