A collection of articles about political pressures on elected judges and the importance of judicial independence.
Overrides of life sentences by judges gives Alabama highest per capita rate of death sentences
Judges may override jury verdicts of death or life imprisonment in Alabama. In 92% of the overrides, judges imposed death and rejected jury verdicts of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Judge override is the primary reason why Alabama has the highest per capita death sentencing rate and execution rate in the country. Alabama, a state with a population of 4.5 million, imposed more new death sentences in 2010 than Texas, which has a population of 24 million.