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AL Supreme Court raises maximum murder bail amount

People who are charged with murder could stay in jail longer now that the Alabama Supreme Court...
People who are charged with murder could stay in jail longer now that the Alabama Supreme Court has raised bail limits in murder cases.(WBRC)
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 5:41 AM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - People who are charged with murder could stay in jail longer now that the Alabama Supreme Court has raised bail limits in murder cases.

Raising the maximum murder bail amount is something district attorneys across Alabama have been pushing for.

“I’m very pleased with that because if you are going around killing people for no reason, you don’t need to be walking around on the streets,” Michael Jackson, a district attorney for a handful of west Alabama counties said.

Last week, the Alabama Supreme Court revised the bail schedule for murder. Now it can go up to $1.5 million for murder charges in the state. The decision comes after a recent deadly shooting at Bama Lanes in Montgomery. The suspect was initially released on $270,000 bail shortly after his arrest prompting the Montgomery County D.A. to petition for a bail increase. A circuit judge then raised the suspect’s bond to $850,000. He’s now back behind bars.

“Often times these folks who are getting these low bonds, They go out and do other things, commit other crimes but it also makes the victim’s families feel like their family member wasn’t worth much,” Jackson said.

Before the change, the bail schedule for murder was frustrating for law enforcement. Leeds Police Chief Paul Irwin is praising the supreme court’s decision.

“I know that is going to have a tremendous impact especially on these communities that have a lot of violent crime. This is really going to help bring in these individuals and keep them off of the street,” Irwin said.

Judge’s still have discretion over bail amounts outside the recommended range.

Defense attorneys around the country oppose raising bail amounts saying the U.S. Constitution protects people from excessive bail.

The other recommended bail ranges are as follows:

Felonies

  • Capital felony: $50,000-No bail
  • Murder: $15,000-$1,500,000
  • Class A felony: $10,000-$60,000
  • Class B felony: $5,000-$30,000
  • Class C felony: $2,500-$15,000
  • Drug manufacturing and trafficking: $5,000-$1,500,000
  • Class D felony: $1,000-$10,000

Misdemeanors (not included elsewhere in the schedule)

  • Class A misdemeanor: $300-$6,000
  • Class B misdemeanor: $300-$3,000
  • Class C misdemeanor: $300-$1,000
  • Violation: $300-$500

Municipal-ordinance violations

  • $300-$1,000

Traffic-related offenses

  • DUI: $1,000-$7,500
  • Reckless driving: $300-$1,000
  • Speeding: $300-$500
  • Other traffic violation: $300-$500

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