A bill that aims to deny bail in cases of certain crimes has made progress through the Alabama House of Representatives.
The Alabama House Judiciary Committee has approved House Bill 81, which was sponsored by a group of 21 representatives.
The bill is commonly referred to as “Aniah’s Law,” named for Aniah Blanchard, a student at Southern Union State Community College who was kidnapped and killed in 2019.
The bill proposes an amendment to Section 16 of Alabama’s existing state constitution, which currently states that all persons are allowed bail before conviction, unless charged with a capital offense or the presumption or proof of guilt is evident.
Ibraheem Yazeed, who is charged with the kidnapping and killing of Blanchard, was already out on bond for charges including kidnapping, robbery and attempted murder in another case when the crimes against Blanchard were committed.
This legislation seeks to ensure that a suspect can be held without bond “if no conditions of release can reasonably protect the community from risk of physical harm to the accused, the public or both, or ensure the presence of the accused at trial.”
The bill would also restrict release for Class A felonies described in Chapter 6 of Title 13A of the Code of Alabama including homicide, assaults, kidnapping, sexual offenses and human trafficking.
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Should the Senate vote in approval, the bill will move to Gov. Kay Ivey’s desk to be signed into law.
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