State leaders endorse ‘Aniah’s Law’

Published 7:30 am Monday, October 31, 2022

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Mayors from Alabama’s 10 largest cities, as well as Governor Kay Ivey, have voiced endorsements for the passage of Amendment 1, which will be on the Nov. 8 General Election ballot.

If passed, Amendment One, commoningly referred to as “Aniah’s Law,” would allow judges to deny bail to a person charged with a violent felony following a hearing. This power would be extended to 13 first-degree offenses, including murder, assault, kidnapping, rape, sodomy, domestic violence, human trafficking, burglary, arson, robbery, sexual torture, terrorism and aggravated child abuse.

The amendment is named for Aniah Blanchard, a Southern Union Community College student who was kidnapped and murdered in 2019. Her accused killer was out on bail awaiting trial for charges of kidnapping, attempted murder, and robbery at the time.

“Three years ago this week, the nation watched as Alabama learned the beginnings of an unjust tragedy that never should have taken place. While we prayed for a different outcome, Aniah’s untimely death revealed flaws in the judicial system. It is past time we fix those issues, but because of the unwavering dedication of Aniah’s family and the unanimous support by the Alabama Legislature, Amendment One will be on the ballot this November. I encourage every Alabamian to join me in voting “yes” to ensure no family has to go through the pain of preventable tragedy,” Ivey said.