Some Capital Convictions to be Reviewed after Innocence Commission Bill Approved

Alabama senators have voted to establish an innocence commission to review some capital convictions.

Senators on Thursday voted 20-6 for the bill, sending it to the House of Representatives. Under the narrowly tailored-bill, the panel would review new evidence in death row cases that hadn’t previously been heard by a court.

Republican Sen. Dick Brewbaker, the bill’s sponsor, said he supports the death penalty, but the state should make sure people are guilty.

The legislation was inspired by the case of a death row inmate Bill Kuenzel who was convicted of the 1987 murder of a Sylacauga convenience store clerk.

Kuenzel’s lawyers say they have new evidence that creates doubts about his guilt, but have been unable to raise it in court because of a missed deadline.

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