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'Kelley's Law' awaits Governor's signature

Published: Apr. 3, 2014 at 9:55 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 24, 2014 at 2:47 PM CDT
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The law would make the murder of a person who had a protective order a capital offense....
The law would make the murder of a person who had a protective order a capital offense. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

ARAB, AL (WAFF) - A bill awaiting the Governor Bentley's signature would make it a capital offense to murder someone when a protective order in place over that person.

Senator Clay Scofield felt if they left the death penalty off the table, it would have a better chance, after the bill failed to pass several times in the past. Even in its new form, the bill sends a strong message in dealing with domestic violence.

"Kelley's Law" has passed the Alabama Legislature on its fourth try. It is named after Arab native Kelley Rutledge Johnston, who was murdered in Huntsville in 2000 by her husband. Kelley had a protective order against him.

Senator Scofield said the new law adds to the list of capital offenses under Alabama law. Now, a person convicted of murder against another individual during the time of a protective order allows for a sentence of life in prison without parole.

Scofield said if someone has a protection order taken out, they clearly feel threatened. He said there is nothing they can do to bring back a lost life, but they can ensure that justice is served.

Representative Wes Long sponsored the bill in-house. The bill becomes law with the governor's signature.

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