Ala. lawmaker seeks to end death penalty

Ala. lawmaker seeks to end death penalty

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Once again, an Alabama state senator plans to go after the death penalty. So far all efforts to end capital punishment have gone nowhere in the state legislature. Selma Sen. Hank Sanders says it's a practice that needs to come to an end.

"Capital punishment in Alabama as in other places really has been something reserved for poor people," Sanders said.

Sanders is pushing several bills. One to eliminate capital punishment, one to put a moratorium on capital punishment, limit the death penalty for mentally challenged, juvenile offenders and restrict judges' sentencing authority.

"We spend a lot of money on capital punishment in Alabama. I don't have the figures. We have spent a whole lot of money on so-called capital crime. I think we can do better," Sanders said.

Alabama voters remain split over the controversial issue.

"African Americans in this state receive a lot more and quicker than others. So for the state of Alabama I think should be outlawed," Wanda Spillers said.

"I'm pretty conservative about it. I think it should be left as it is. There should be serious punishment or a plan for serious crime," Matthew Sensintaffer said.

Some Alabama lawmakers tell FOX6 News they don't believe the legislature will end capital punishment. Still, Sanders is not giving up. He says it's too important of issue not to have a serious debate this year. He also points to a large number of inmates sitting on Alabama's death row.

"Either we have more bad people in Alabama or there is a something wrong with our system. I don't think there are more bad people in Alabama," Sanders said.

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