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


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



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.