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.

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


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



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.