Ala. commission recommends life without parole

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A
commission studying ways to revise the Alabama constitution has
recommended inserting language to automatically sentence a defendant to
life without parole if the governor commutes their death sentence.

The
commission's vice chairman, Republican Rep. Paul DeMarco of Homewood,
recommended the language at a commission meeting Monday. He says he
wants to remove any doubt of what happens when a governor commutes a
death sentence.

The question arose in 1999 when Gov. Fob James
commuted the sentence of convicted murderer Judith Ann Neelley to life
in prison without saying if she would be eligible for parole on one of
his last days in office.

Neelley is serving her sentence at Tutwiler Prison in Wetumpka. Prison records indicate that she is eligible for parole.