After years of failed attempts at real sentencing reform in Alabama, including a ten bill package backed by a former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, the Alabama Legislature passed a bill that will bring true sentencing reform to Alabama. The legislation is modeled upon Texas and Virginia’s successful sentencing reform legislation. The Alabama bill was written and sponsored by Senate Judiciary Chairman Cam Ward and Representative Alan Farley. The new law, which was supported by Gov. Robert Bentley, changes the make-up of the Sentencing Commission, mandates that the recommendations of the commission become effective unless specifically rejected by the Alabama Legislature, and requires truth-in-sentencing guidelines by 2020. This may wind up being one of the best things done by this legislature.
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