Section 12-25-2

Purpose.

(a) The purposes of the commission shall be to review existing sentence structure, including laws, policies, and practices, and to determine and recommend to the Legislature and Supreme Court changes regarding the criminal code, criminal procedures, and other aspects of sentencing policies and practices appropriate for the state which:

(1) Secure the public safety of the state by providing a swift and sure response to the commission of crime.

(2) Establish an effective, fair, and efficient sentencing system for Alabama adult and juvenile criminal offenders which provides certainty in sentencing, maintains judicial discretion and sufficient flexibility to permit individualized sentencing as warranted by mitigating or aggravating factors, and avoids unwarranted sentencing disparities among defendants with like criminal records who have been found guilty of similar criminal conduct. Where there is disparity, it should be rational and not related, for example, to geography, race, or judicial assignment.

(3) Promote truth in sentencing, in order that a party involved in a criminal case and the criminal justice process is aware of the nature and length of the sentence and its basis.

(4) Prevent prison overcrowding and the premature release of prisoners.

(5) Provide judges with flexibility in sentencing options and meaningful discretion in the imposition of sentences.

(6) Enhance the availability and use of a wider array of sentencing options in appropriate cases.

(7) Limit the discretion of district attorneys in determining the charge or crime.

(b) In fulfilling its purposes, the commission shall be mindful of the purposes of sentencing that include, but are not limited to, all of the following:

(1) Protecting the public.

(2) Promoting respect for the law.

(3) Providing just and adequate punishment for the offense.

(4) Deterring criminal conduct.

(5) Imposing sanctions which are least restrictive while consistent with the protection of the public and the gravity of the crime.

(6) Promoting the rehabilitation of offenders.

(Act 2000-596, p. 1192, §2.)