Current Text for SB97



SB97

ENGROSSED

By Senators Orr, Marsh, McGill, Keahey, Figures, Dunn, Irons, Coleman, Scofield, Beason, Williams and Smitherman

A BILL
TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT

Relating to pardons and paroles, to establish procedures for the consideration of posthumous pardons of certain felons by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:

Section 1. This act may be known and cited as "The Scottsboro Boys Act."

Section 2. The purpose of this act is to establish a process for the consideration of posthumous pardons by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles for certain felons.

Section 3. The following words shall have the following meanings:

(1) BOARD. State Board of Pardons and Paroles.

(2) CANDIDATE. A person who is considered for a posthumous pardon.

(3) PETITION. A document signed by a petitioner requesting the posthumous pardon of a person.

(4) PETITIONER. A judge in the judicial circuit where the person was tried and convicted or the district attorney in the person's county of conviction.

(5) POSTHUMOUS PARDON. A pardon granted by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles to certain deceased felons.

Section 4. (a) A person convicted of a Class A or Class B felony in this state shall be a candidate for a posthumous pardon if all of the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) He or she is deceased.

(2) The person's circumstances of conviction provide a compelling reason or reasons to consider granting a posthumous pardon to remedy social injustice associated with racial discrimination.

(3) He or she did not receive a pardon for his or her felony conviction at issue from this state while living.

(4) The acts forming the basis for his or her felony conviction or convictions at issue were committed at least 80 years prior to the date of the petition.

(b) A petitioner may petition the board to consider granting a posthumous pardon for a specific compelling reason or reasons for the purpose of remedying social injustice associated with racial discrimination evident by the person's circumstances of conviction.

(c)(1) The petition shall include attestations of all of the following:

a. That the petitioner is an eligible petitioner under this act.

b. That the petitioner has personally conducted an intelligent evaluation of the person's case.

c. The compelling reason or reasons for which the petitioner requests a posthumous pardon for the purpose of remedying social injustice associated with racial discrimination evident by the person's circumstances of conviction.

d. That all information contained in the petition and any supporting documentation or evidence submitted by the petitioner is believed to be true and accurate.

(2) The petition shall also include supporting documentation or evidence of the compelling reason or reasons supporting the award of a posthumous pardon.

(d) The board shall have no power to grant a posthumous pardon unless the petition specifies a compelling reason or reasons for which the petitioner seeks application for the candidate's posthumous pardon to remedy social injustice associated with racial discrimination evident by the person's circumstances of conviction.

(e) Following receipt and review of the petition and supporting documentation or evidence, the board shall conduct a hearing on the petition. The board shall not be required to conduct an investigation to consider or grant a posthumous pardon in accordance with this act, but may rely on the written petition and accompanying documentation or evidence, along with evidence presented at the hearing. The petitioner, public officials, and other witnesses, including members of the public may testify and present evidence at the hearing in support of or in opposition to the petition. The board shall hold ultimate discretion in granting a posthumous pardon. Upon the unanimous affirmative vote of the board, a posthumous pardon may be issued.

(f) The notification requirements of Sections 15-22-23 and 15-22-36, Code of Alabama 1975, shall not apply to this act, and the board's power to grant posthumous pardons shall not otherwise be limited by Sections 15-22-23 and 15-22-36, Code of Alabama 1975. The board shall provide general notice of a posthumous pardon hearing by publicly posting on the state agency website the name of the posthumous pardon candidate along with the date, time, and location of the hearing.

Section 5. For the public welfare, a pardon granted by the board pursuant to this act shall not require formal delivery to and acceptance by the candidate's family or legal heirs in order to be considered valid.

Section 6. Nothing in this act, nor any determination made by the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles pursuant to this act, shall give rise to any liability from any act or omission of any governmental entity or otherwise give rise to any legal claim, suit, or action, including for reparations to a surviving family member of a person pardoned under this act or to a posthumously pardoned person's estate. All Board of Pardons and Paroles' files and records created and maintained pursuant to this act shall be subject to the absolute governmental privilege created by subsection 15-22-36(b), Code of Alabama 1975.

Section 7. This act shall become effective on the first day of the third month following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.


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