CALL 205.538.3340

The Law Office of J.D. Lloyd Logo Because There’s Hope After the Trial


After The Trial Blog

The After The Trial blog presents insights on ongoing and recent trials around the state of Alabama, including weekly criminal law round-ups.

Massive Death Penalty Reform in AL

J.D. Lloyd - Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The first bill signed into law by recently-elevated Gov. Kay Ivey repeals Alabama's "judicial override" provision in our death penalty sentencing laws. "Judicial override" refers to situations where a jury recommends that someone convicted of capital murder be punished with life without parole, but the judge "overrides" that recommendation to sentence the defendant to death.

In Alabama, capital murder trials go through two stages: the guilt stage and the penalty stage. In the guilt stage, a jury must decide whether a defendant committed the capital offense he's been charged with. If they convict, the case moves to the penalty phase. In the penalty phase, the State presents a case for the the death penalty and the defense makes a case for life without parole (LWOP). Death or LWOP are the only two sentences possible. The jury hears the evidence and makes a recommendation to the judge as to what the sentence should be. Under Alabama law, the jury has to vote 10-2 in favor of death to make a death recommendation to the court; anything lower is considered a recommendation for LWOP. The judge then has the final sentencing authority. A judge could "override" a jury's LWOP recommendation and sentence a defendant to life.


This practice has received extreme criticism through the years. Alabama is the last state to do away with judicial override.
Read more about it here.


If you or someone you know has been convicted of wrongful criminal charges, there is hope after the trial. Contact us today by clicking HERE.

Is Alabama’s Death Penalty Scheme on Life Support?

J.D. Lloyd - Thursday, January 14, 2016

Today, by an 8-1 vote (Justice Alito dissenting), the US Supreme Court struck down Florida's death penalty sentencing scheme in Hurst v Florida . This is huge news in Alabama as our death penalty sentencing scheme is very similar.
Under Florida law, a capital offense only exposes a defendant to a punishment of life imprisonment without possibility of parole (“LWOP”). A defendant can be sentenced to death only after the court makes additional findings. Essentially, after the guilt phase, a court conducts a sentencing hearing where a jury will make a sentencing recommendation of LWOP or death. This recommendation is purely advisory. Then, the sentencing judge makes a determination of whether to impose LWOP or death.
The Court found this scheme violates Ring v. Arizona, which held that all facts necessary to impose death must be found by the jury. Only judicial -- and not jury -- fact-finding can expose a defendant to death under Florida law. Pursuant to Ring , this scheme violates the Sixth Amendment.
In Alabama, we have a similar scheme; however, by statute, a capital conviction exposes a defendant to LWOP or death -- a Florida conviction, standing alone, only exposes a defendant to LWOP. After receiving a recommendation from the jury, the Alabama judge makes the final determination of what sentence to impose. So the sentencing decision still falls upon the judge in Alabama.
Whether the Alabama system holds a distinction without a real difference from the Florida law will be litigated in the very near future. Regardless, the reins have been tightened a little more on the death penalty.
For more information on the decision, click here.



If you or someone you know has been convicted of wrongful criminal charges, there is hope after the trial. Contact us today by clicking HERE.



Recent Posts


florence alabama Sardis Alabama morgan county alabama Stephen Breyer breaking and entering drug smuggling fraud fairfield alabama, § 13A-3-23(d) immunity hearing self defense south carolina fourth amendment Xavier Beasley prostitution sting bailey v us drug crimes home repair fraud alabama law enforcement agency death penalty, mobile alabama apprendi v new jersey adnan syed, aiding and abetting constitutional violations unlawful manufacturing bernard v north dakota abandonment gun rights ake v oklahoma eleventh circuit ruling US Supreme Court Update russell calhoun OJ Simpson abuse theft of property hoax destructive devices economic growth shooting death burglary attempted murder operation bullseye identity theft Lucky D Arcade asia mcclain debit card skimming scams springville alabama domestic violence executions state of arizona alabama criminal law roundup criminal justice Ingmire v State scotus utah supreme court Hillary Clinton, heritage christian university minor offenses lauderdale county alabama bomb threat Tommy Arthur forced isolation trussville alabama Thomas Hardiman negligent homicide warrior alabama montgomery alabama court of criminal appeal releases CCA update debtor prison drug busts smith v state West Alabama William Pryor SCOTUS, huntsville keith v state New York Times hurst mandamus Samuel Alito illegal gambling drug possession, hanceville alabama second amendment court of criminal appeals anniston alabama, church robberies mccalla alabama baldwin county alabama boaz alabama alabama supreme court Kay Ivey the mannequin challenge LWOP Neil Gorsuch strickland v washington Malone v State npr madison alabama implied consent morris alabama moving violations mulga alabama state of alabama bessemer alabama mount olive alabama Adamsville alabama theft gadsden alabama mountain brook alabama Shonda Walker, capital offenses OJ Simpson Made in America Jefferson County Alabama animal cruelty fake kidnapping, homicide rate marion county texas john earle redfearn IV v state underage drinking capital punishment Walker County Alabama midazolam serial birchfield v north dakota illegal gun carry Donald Trump, drug activity kidnapping narcotics investigation nathan woods abduction criminal justice reform, tarrant alabama pruitt v state warrantless blood draws Rule 32 brendan dassey operation crackdown cherokee county alabama criminal mischief Wesley Adam Whitworth Gardendale Alabama alabama gun control assault Guy Terrell Junior hurst v florida habeas corpus relief domestic abuse clarence thomas benjamin todd acton department of justice christmas shooting Tracie Todd making a murderer ferguson missouri beylund v north dakota alfonso morris Benn v State avondale alabama Pleasant Grove Alabama fraudulent checks homicide levins v state ex parte briseno Alonzo Ephraim Glaze v State mcwilliams v dunn moore v texas Woods v State edwards v arizona editorial embezzlement shoplifting huntsville alabama calhoun county alabama limestone county alabama death penalty towles v state stanley brent chapman parole legende v state hoover alabama eric sterling dothan alabama arson constitutional law, netflix sarah koenig fultondale alabama department of justice, murder dekalb county alabama shelby county sentencing law and policy blog summaries baltimore city circuit court sexual assault steve avery court systems, christian guitierez Marengo County Alabama betton v state tuscaloosa alabama car accident cullman alabama fort payne alabama Mike Hubbard road rage heflin alabama terell corey mcmullin brendan dassey, steve avery, making a murderer, scotus, netflix pelham alabama maryland court of special appeals felony assaults Briarwood Presbyterian Church sixth amendment jerry bohannon lamar county Etowah County Alabama, kimberly alabama concealed carry Alabaster alabama peyton pruitt blountsville alabama brady v maryland 28 U.S.C. § 2254 adger alabama Dylann Roof rainbow city alabama Joshua Reese eighth amendment, dora alabama greene county alabama utah v strieff Eutaw Alabama hall v florida decatur alabama Kareem Dacar Gaymon judicial override sheffield v state Easter banville v state pell city alabama pinson alabama street racing drug seizure kenneth eugene billups aziz sayyed public assistance fraud battles v state lethal injection drugs birmingham alabama lethal injection foley alabama Justice Sotomayor § 13A-3-23 nicholas hawkins eugene lee jones v state brookside alabama 2016 election, brian fredick lucas social media blount county alabama mike gilotti ring v arizona robberies Fentanyl armed robbery endangerment of a child albertville alabama campbell v state drug trafficking, talladega superspeedway shooting st clair county alabama oneonta alabama capital murder crime of passion stoves v state



These recoveries and testimonials are not an indication of future results. Every case is different, and regardless of what friends, family, or other individuals may say about what a case is worth, each case must be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances as they apply to the law. The valuation of a case depends on the facts, the injuries, the jurisdiction, the venue, the witnesses, the parties, and the testimony, among  other factors. Furthermore, no representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

Get Free Legal Advice  Contact us for a complimentary legal consultation

I am interested in scheduling a free legal consultation and receiving additional information.

Submitting Form...

The server encountered an error.

Thank you, your  entry has been  received.

© 2017 The Law Office of J.D. Lloyd, LLC. All Rights Reserved. |


As required by Rule 7.2(e), Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct, no representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.