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Voters Pass Amendment One, Aniah's Law

Taniesa L. Sullivan | The Weekly Ledger News

MONTGOMERY — Voters have passed Aniah’s Law, which will allow judges to deny bond to those who are charged with committing violent crimes.

Amendment one was passed by Alabama voters on Tuesday, which carries the namesake of slain Homewood native Aniah Blanchard.

Oct. 23 marked three years since Blanchard was kidnapped at a convenience store in the Auburn area. Her body was found about a month later, just before Thanksgiving.

"This time of the year, you know, is probably the hardest month of the year obviously because you know, we lost Aniah Oct. 23," Elijah Blanchard, Aniah's brother, says. "But it gets harder because this was the last few moments we got to spend with her."

In early 2021, the Alabama legislature approved Aniah's Law which would essentially make it easier for judges to deny a bond to those accused of violent crimes. Gov. Kay Ivey later signed off on it as well, leaving it up to voters to have the final say.

Local attorney Tommy James says it would have a huge impact on the legal and justice system.

"What this law is going to do is give a judge pretty wide discretion when a defendant has been accused of violent crimes, such as kidnapping, rape, sodomy, arson, trafficking," James explains.

Authorities say the suspect charged with kidnapping and killing Aniah Blanchard was free on bond in a previous kidnapping case. Aniah's Law could potentially keep a similar type of event from happening again.

"I want people to be able to walk out on the streets and feel more comfortable," Blanchard said. "Feel like, oh, I don't have to worry about someone watching me or stalking. Maybe just waiting to commit that crime that can change your life forever."

The man accused of kidnapping and killing Aniah Blanchard, Ibraheem Yazeed, is charged with capital murder. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case.


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