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Murder witnessed by a child could become capital offense

February 1, 2018 GMT

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama House of Representatives has voted to make it a capital offense to kill a person in front of their child.

The bill approved Thursday adds killing someone “with knowledge of the presence of a child under the age of 14 years,” to the list of crimes for which someone could receive the death penalty. The victim would have to be the parent or legal guardian of the child.

Lawmakers approved the bill on a 77-17 vote. The bill now moves to the Alabama Senate.

The bill was part of House Republicans’ agenda for the session

Current death penalty eligible offenses include: killing someone during a robbery, burglary, drive-by shooting or rape; killing a child under age 14, killing a law enforcement officer; and murder-for-hire.