Here is a quick rundown of the latest bills introduced for the upcoming session:
HB 34: "Continuous Sexual Abuse" Act
Section 1. (a) A person commits the crime of continuous sexual abuse when the person intentionally engages in three or more acts of sexual conduct with another person who was under the age of 16 years when the first act of sexual conduct occurred.
(b) The term "sexual conduct" includes any of those sexual acts defined under Sections 13A-6-61, 13A-6-62, 13A-6-63, 13A-6-64, 13A-6-65.1, 13A-6-66, 13A-6-67, 13A-6-69.1, and 13A-13-3 of the Code of Alabama 1975.
(c) Continuous sexual abuse shall not include sexual conduct that meets all of the following:
(1) The sexual conduct did not involve force and was only a crime due to the ages of the victim and offender.
(2) At the time of the sexual conduct, the victim was 13 years of age or older.
(3) At the time of the sexual conduct, the offender was not more than 4 years older than the victim.
(d) Continuous sexual abuse is a Class A felony
ReFORM-AL's stance: Oppose-- this bill will effectively make all sex crimes involving minors a Class A felony, with a minimum 10 year sentence. Such an increase will ultimately lead to a decrease of reporting of sexual abuse cases and may compel the minority of violent offenders to cause more harm to victims. This law will obviously be used to force an increase of pleas to those wrongfully accused.
SB 67-70: A series of bills regarding death penalty reform. Personally I prefer the death penalty to be abolished, but a three year moratorium and reforming the policy on who is eligible for execution is a start. Don't worry, no one has suggested executing registrants, that was abolished by the 2007 Kennedy v Louisiana decision.