Alabama Senate votes to expand death penalty law

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – The Alabama Senate has voted to expand Alabama’s death penalty law to include a defendant who kills a person who had a protective order issued against the defendant.

The bill got approved by the Senate 29-0 Tuesday. The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Clay Scofield of Guntersville, said earlier the legislation was inspired by the killing of a friend’s sister, Kelley Rutledge Johnston, in 2000 after she had taken out a protective order against her estranged husband. The bill gives prosecutors the opportunity to bring a capital murder charge rather than a murder charge, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The bill now goes to the House for consideration with four meeting days remaining in the legislative session.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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