Section 12-25-31.1

Legislative findings.

(a) The Legislature finds the Alabama Sentencing Commission has followed the directives of the Legislature in this article, to develop and recommend to the Legislature a discretionary sentencing structure designed to protect public safety by providing a fair, effective, and efficient criminal sentencing system for this state by doing all of the following:

(1) By developing a system of statewide voluntary sentencing standards and worksheets for use in felony cases for 26 felony offenses representing 87 percent of all felony convictions in Alabama over a five-year period.

(2) By taking into account historical sentencing data concerning time imposed and other factors that, after analysis of historical data, appear to be relevant in determining both the duration and disposition of sentences in the applicable felony cases.

(3) By basing the voluntary sentencing standards on historical sentencing practices adjusted to achieve sentencing goals as established in Rule 26 of the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure and Section 12-25-31.

(b) The Legislature further recognizes that the development of voluntary sentencing standards by the commission is and should be a continuous process and the commission has been directed to continue the development of the voluntary sentencing standards recommendations by collecting and analyzing sentencing data and incorporating a continuum of punishment options, as required by subdivision (1) of Section 12-25-33, and by identifying, testing, and recommending modifications of the initial voluntary sentencing standards and worksheets as may be necessary to accomplish the purposes and goals set out in this article and Rule 26 of the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(Act 2006-312, p. 663, §1.)