Section 13A-5-43

Trial of capital offenses; discharge of defendant; lesser included offenses; sentencing.

(a) In the trial of a capital offense the jury shall first hear all the admissible evidence offered on the charge or charges against the defendant. It shall then determine whether the defendant is guilty of the capital offense or offenses with which he is charged or of any lesser included offense or offenses considered pursuant to Section 13A-5-41.

(b) If the defendant is found not guilty of the capital offense or offenses with which he is charged, and not guilty of any lesser included offense or offenses considered pursuant to Section 13A-5-41, the defendant shall be discharged.

(c) If the defendant is found not guilty of the capital offense or offenses with which he is charged, and is found guilty of a lesser included offense or offenses considered pursuant to Section 13A-5-41, sentence shall be determined and imposed as provided by law.

(d) If the defendant is found guilty of a capital offense or offenses with which he is charged and the defendant does not establish to the court by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she was under the age of 18 years at the time of the capital offense or offenses with which he or she is found guilty, the sentence shall be determined as provided in Sections 13A-5-45 through 13A-5-53.

(e) If the defendant is found guilty of a capital offense or offenses with which he or she is charged and the defendant establishes to the court by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she was under the age of 18 years at the time of the capital offense or offenses, the sentence shall be either life without the possibility of parole or, in the alternative, life, and the sentence shall be determined by the procedures set forth in the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure for judicially imposing sentences within the range set by statute without a jury, rather than as provided in Sections 13A-5-45 to 13A-5-53, inclusive. The judge shall consider all relevant mitigating circumstances.

If the defendant is sentenced to life on a capital offense, the defendant must serve a minimum of 30 years, day for day, prior to first consideration of parole.

(Acts 1981, No. 81-178, p. 203, §5; Act 2016-360, §1.)