Capital Crimes in Alabama

Capital crimes are among the most serious offenses in the United States, since the consequence of a conviction is usually the death penalty in states that still allow this type of ultimate punishment. Alabama is one of several states that have not abolished the death penalty, so it is very important to know what constitutes a capital crime in Alabama in order to be aware of what you could be facing.

Once you know what a capital crime is, you will have a much greater appreciation for the people who fight on your side to protect you against receiving this terrible punishment whenever possible. We have achieved more than 90% success rate at helping our clients achieve a minimal sentence, dropped charges, dismissed cases, or acquittals in all types of cases, from capital crimes to misdemeanors and other charges. Your future, your freedom, and even your life could be at stake, so do not wait until it is too late to get professional help from one of our professional criminal defense attorneys!

What is a capital crime in Alabama?

Only one crime constitutes as a capital crime in Alabama right now according to state law, and that is intentional murder with at least eighteen aggravating factors. There are several different situations that classify as intentional murder, including but not limited to the following:

· Murder committed during the course of a rape, arson, burglary, hijacking, kidnapping, or robbery, or during any act of sexual abuse

· Killing any law enforcement individual on duty, from state troopers to local police officers or sheriff’s deputies

· Killing someone while you are already incarcerated for life

· Murder for hire, or in order to receive any form of compensation

· Killing more than one person

· Murdering any person associated with public office if the reason behind the murder was related to the official position in any way

· Any murder committed within 20 years of a previous murder conviction

· Killing someone who is willing/able to testify against you during a separate proceeding

· Death of any person under the age of 14

· Deaths related to vehicles, such as reckless driving (gross) or firing a weapon into a vehicle

· Deaths due to firing a weapon inside or outside your home and striking someone

There must be eighteen aggravating factors present according to Ala. Stat. Ann. 13A-5-49, including one or more of the following aggravating factors as defined according to the same statute:

1. “The capital offense was committed by a person under sentence of imprisonment;

2. The defendant was previously convicted of another capital offense or a felony involving the use or threat of violence to the person

3. The defendant knowingly created a great risk of death to many persons

4. The capital offense was committed while the defendant was engaged or was an accomplice in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing, or attempting to commit, rape, robbery, burglary or kidnapping

5. The capital offense was committed for the purpose of avoiding or preventing a lawful arrest or effecting an escape from custody

6. The capital offense was committed for pecuniary gain

7. The capital offense was committed to disrupt or hinder the lawful exercise of any governmental function or the enforcement of laws

8. The capital offense was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel compared to other capital offenses

9. The defendant intentionally caused the death of two or more persons by one act or pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct;

10. The capital offense was one of a series of intentional killings committed by the defendant”

The article is solely informative in nature, and should not be construed as legal advice or counsel. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation and begin building a defense in your capital crime case today!


About handlawfirm

Born September 12, 1964, Ben earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management degree from Auburn University in 1987 and a Juris Doctorate degree from Cumberland School of Law in 1990. Ben has been a practicing attorney since 1990 and spent six years in Central America. He is familiar with customs and conditions of the region and is fluent in Spanish. Ben established and is currently the Vice President of the Legal and Contracting with Emergency Response Training Systems, the only company to run military style software (jcats/acats) for training of civilian law enforcement (ERTS Opelika, Alabama). This also provides homeland security training for the Auburn University Homeland Security department. Ben Hand is the winner of various Who’s-Who Awards, the Republican of the year for 2001, and a Republican Nominee for the U.S. House in 1994. He is licensed to practice law in Alabama and Georgia. Ben founded Hand, Fellows and Associates law firm and is the founding member of the board of directors of Beacon University in Columbus, Georgia. Ben currently represents thirty-two different non-profit organizations in Alabama, Texas, Georgia and Tennessee. He is a business legal adviser to seventy-five different small businesses and corporations. Ben was hired by Chief of police, Terry Sanders, to represent him in a dispute with the Valley City Council in Valley, Alabama and was also hired by Chief of Police, Ben Brown, to represent him in negotiations with the Lanett City Council and the mayor of Lanett, Alabama. The former city attorney for Uniontown, Alabama, Ben is a city prosecutor for cities of Opelika and Roanoke in Alabama. Ben is a family court referee in Lee County, Alabama and was appointed by Governor Bob Riley as an Administrative Law Judge for State Health Planning and Development Agency. He successfully represented the State Republican party in Lee County during Governor Bob Riley’s election challenge 2002. Governor Bob Riley was elected by a narrow margin and the outgoing Governor challenged the election. Ben was asked by Governor Riley to represent him in Lee County. Governor Riley won and the challenge was dropped by the outgoing Governor. Ben was a guest lecturer for the Auburn University Safe House. He instructed the local law enforcement and Domestic Violence counselors on obtaining protection from abuse orders. Ben was a guest lecturer for Auburn University SOAR for lawyers and realtors on construction law. He is an elder at Believers Church in Auburn, AL and on the board of directors for the Spirit of Life Church in Murfreesboro, TN. Ben is a Gideon speaker and member since 1992 and a Municipal Judge in Wedowee, Alabama since 1995. Ben%2
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One Response to Capital Crimes in Alabama

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