In the 2014 Legislative session, Attorney General Luther Strange is trying to speed up the execution process, citing long delays for the families of victims. House Bill 216 is the vehicle by which he is trying to accomplish that goal. The bill would provide that the direct appeal in a death penalty case run simultaneously with any post-conviction relief. The bill is being fast-tracked without enough time for meaningful investigation of all the implications.
The implications are numerous. Here are just a few. First, to hurry up an established process will make it less likely that flaws in convictions will be discovered. Not only will that lead to the affirming of wrongful convictions, but also to the execution of the innocent. That, alone, is enough reason that this bill should fail.
Second, how is this bill going to be funded? One of the biggest flaws in Alabama’s death penalty system … Read the rest
The Alabama Supreme Court made a landmark decision in 2013 when it struck down the decades old Ex parte Bayliss ruling. This decision should have long lasting effect on future domestic relations cases in the state. In Ex parte Bayliss, the court at the time established under what parameters a non-custodial parent could be forced to pay for the college education of his or her children after the reached the age of majority.
On its face the original Bayliss ruling seemed illogical due to the fact that all support obligations to a minor child cease upon the child reaching the age of majority, which in Alabama is 19. Many non-custodial parents were forced to make college payments that they could not afford because it was ordered in the original divorce decree or ordered in a hearing for post minority support.
Notwithstanding the legal arguments against the Bayliss rule, there … Read the rest
Marcus Duval Dozier, 44, of Dothan, officially entered a guilty plea to cocaine trafficking charges today in court. Assistant Houston County District Attorney Kristen Shields announced that as part of the plea deal, Dozier will accept a lifetime prison sentence which was handed down by Circuit Court Judge Brad Mendheim.
The charges arose after Dozier was arrested on May 3, 2012 following a search warrant being served at his home in the 700 block of Monroe Street in Dothan. Police seized nearly 1.2 ounces of cocaine, 3 grams of marijuana, and two .22-caliber handguns during their search and charged him cocaine trafficking. Dothan police also charged Dozier with the felony failure to affix a tax stamp to the drugs. The second tax stamp related charged was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
Dozier faced an enhanced sentence by the court of either life in prison or life without … Read the rest
Jay Terrell Curry, 50, was arrested on December 31, 2013 and charged with felony first-degree assault after Dothan police say he stabbed another man with a serrated kitchen knife. The charges against Curry have recently been upgraded to felony attempted murder after investigators conferred with the Houston County District Attorney’s Office. If convicted of these class a felony charge, Curry would face 10 to 99 years or life in prison.
The charges stem from an incident that took place in the 1100 block of North Cherry Street in Dothan. Police responded to a reported assault and found a black male, approximately 45 to 50 years of age, had been stabbed in the shoulder with a 6-inch knife. The assault is believed to be the result of an argument between the two men. Curry was arrested and taken to Houston County Jail where he is being held on $200,000 bond.… Read the rest