ACLU on Crime
OnTheIssues summary: This bill changes the rules for sentencing criminals in capital cases when sentencing to death versus life imprisonment. The previous rules had a jury trial with an advisory verdict of life or death, and then a separate sentencing trial, where the judge could override the jury's sentence. The new rules allow the defendant to choose a jury trial or a non-jury (judge-based) trial. In either case, the verdict is final.
ACLU opinion: This new law prevents judges from overriding the will of the community by imposing the death penalty when a jury has recommended life imprisonment. While we applaud this change, Alabama is still the only state that does not require a unanimous jury for the death penalty.
Legislative Outcome:Passed House 78-19-2 in roll call #362 on April 16; passed Senate 23-5-0 in roll call #111 on Feb. 23; signed by Gov. Kay Ivey on April 4.
[Two Louisiana shootings were captured on video, on which] "police killed a black man who was minding his own business," says the director of ACLU-LA. But it was the civil rights of police officers that Edwards was concerned about in May, as if theirs were being routinely violated. "I'm not aware of any evidence that police officers have been victimized that would justify giving them special protection," the ACLU director said.
The new law places police officers, firefighters, and EMTs under protection from hate crimes. Laws similar to the one in Louisiana have been proposed in KY, TN, and IL. In Washington, lawmakers introduced a "Thin Blue Line Act," which would strengthen penalties for attacks on law enforcement.
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Opinion Leaders on the Right:
Milton Friedman (Nobel Economist)
Rush Limbaugh (Radio Talk Show Host)
Ayn Rand (Author and Philosopher)
Heritage Foundation (Think Tank)
Joe Scarborough (Former Congressman; Radio Host)
Opinion Leaders on the Left:
American Civil Liberties Union
Noam Chomsky (Author and Philosopher)
Arianna Huffington (Internet Columnist)
Robert Reich (Professor and Columnist)
Howard Schultz (CEO of Starbucks)
John F. Kennedy(President,1961-1963)