Alabamians to vote on Aniah’s Law in November

Timeline of Aniah Blanchard's disappearance
Timeline of Aniah Blanchard's disappearance
Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 6:28 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - There are a number of constitutional amendments on November’s ballot that Alabamians will have an opportunity to vote on.

Amendment One is named Aniah’s Law after Aniah Blanchard. In 2019, Blanchard was abducted at an Auburn gas station. Police say she was murdered by a man who was out on bond.

“She just loved to laugh. And she loved life,” said Angela Harris, Blanchard’s mother.

The suspect still awaits trial. In the meantime, Harris wants to decrease the number of violent offenders on the street.

“2021 it went through the House and the Senate unanimously the bill. And so it’s called Aniah’s Law,” explained Harris.

Signed by Gov. Kay Ivey, Aniah’s Law is a bond reform.

Shane Hughes, a county commissioner for Fayette County, is supportive of the law and works closely with Blanchard’s family to promote its importance.

“I’m a retired police officer. I’ve dealt with it. And there’s some folks that just do not need to be on street,” said Hughes.

The law will give judges more discretion to deny bail to people for any of these offenses in the first degree:

  • Murder
  • Kidnapping
  • Rape
  • Sodomy
  • Domestic violence
  • Human trafficking
  • Burglary
  • Arson
  • Robbery

Two of these are why Blanchard and her family are victims of violent crime.

“The person who’s been charged with kidnapping and murder was out on bond for attempted murder and kidnapping at the time,” said Harris.

“It feels like a little piece of me is in this legislation,” said Rep. Chip Brown, R-Mobile.

Brown sponsored the legislation that passed both chambers unanimously with bipartisan support.

“They know that it’s an issue that impacts every house and senate district in the state. It’s not just a regional thing,” he said.

Now, Aniah’s Law needs voters’ approval. For the law to go into effect, voters need to vote yes on Amendment One on November’s ballot.

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