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Judicial Override

Alabama is one of only three states which allow trial judges to override a jury's verdict of life without parole and instead issue the death sentence. Furthermore, Alabama is the only of these three states with judges who are elected officials and the only state in the country that permits judges, without limitation, to override a jury verdict.

More than 80 people currently sit on Alabama's death row because of a judge who exercised judicial override and disregarded the recommendation of jury during the sentencing phase of their trial.

Below is a list of judges known to have imposed the death sentence through the use of their ability to override the jury's recommendation:

JEFFERSON COUNTY 13

Judge Dan Reynolds 2 times
Judge Billy C. Barney
Judge James Garnett
Judge Alfred Bahakel
Judge Gloria Bahakel
Judge William Cole
Judge Teresa B. Petrelos 2 times
Judge N. Pride Tompkins
Judge Inge P. Johnson, Judge Clyde Jones

MOBILE COUNTY 11

Judge Ferrel McRae 6 times
Judge Braxton Kittrell Jr. 3 times
Judge Herman Thomas
Judge N. Pride Tompkins

MONTGOMERY COUNTY 9

Judge H. Randall Thomas 4 times
Judge Joseph D. Phelps
Judge William R. Gordon 2 times
Judge Charles Price
Judge Truman Hobbs Jr.

MADISON COUNTY 6

Judge Daniel Banks 2 times
Judge C. Lynwood Smith 2 times
Judge Jeri W. Blankenship
Judge William Page

BALDWIN COUNTY 4

Judge Robert L.L. Key
Judge Charles C. Partin
Judge Harry J. Wilters Jr.
Judge Robert E. Wilters

MORGAN COUNTY  3

Judge Sherrie W. Brown
Judge Sherrie W. Paler
Judge Bobby Aderholt

DALLAS COUNTY  3

Judge Jack W. Meigs  2 times
Judge C.J. Norton

RUSSELL COUNTY 2

Judge George R. Greene
Judge Wayne T. Johnson Jr.

CONNECUH COUNTY  2

Judge Samuel H. Welch Jr. 2 times

COLBERT COUNTY  2

Judge Hal Hughston
Judge Inge Johnson

ELMORE COUNTY 1

Judge John Bush

MARION COUNTY 1

Judge Bobby R. Aderholt

RANDOLPH COUNTY 1

Judge Philip Dale Segrest

CRENSHAW COUNTY 1

Judge H. Edward McFerrin

LEE COUNTY 2

Judge Jacob A. Walker III

Judge Robert M. Harper

DEKALB COUNTY 1

Judge Randall L. Cole

MARSHALL COUNTY 1 

Judge William D. Jetton

COFFEE COUNTY 1

Judge Gary L. McAliley

CALHOUN COUNTY 1 

Judge R. Joel Laird Jr.

HENRY COUNTY 1

Judge S. Edward Jackson

DALE COUNTY  1

Judge P. Ben McLauchlin Jr.

FRANKLIN COUNTY 1

Judge Terry Dempsey