Civil and gay-rights advocates are calling an appeals court ruling Monday a step in the right direction. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has unanimously overturned the state's anti-sodomy law. The judges said it was the first time the law's constitutionality had been addressed since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a similar Texas law in 2003. The state attorney general's office brought the case to the appeals court after a prosecutor failed to get a jury to convict a defendant on the felony charge of first-degree sodomy. The jury had convicted the defendant of the lesser, non-felony charge of sexual misconduct. The Human Rights Campaign says Alabama is one of a dozen states with anti-sodomy laws on the books.
A central Alabama man has pleaded guilty in the death of his ex-girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter. David Michael Carr of Prattville appeared in Elmore County Circuit Court Monday and pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of Sarah Lowery. Authorities have said the girl died from blunt force trauma to her head in April 2011 and showed signs of physical abuse elsewhere. Officials have said 24-year-old Carr was babysitting for his ex-girlfriend when the child was injured. He initially told investigators that the girl hurt herself in a fall. Carr's sentencing is scheduled for July 31st.
Rising Gas Prices
The looming threat of more violence in Iraq has many motorists worried about gas prices. Triple A Alabama spokesman Clay Ingram said consumers should see a mild increase from the current $3.40 average statewide, but only a slight one. Unfortunately, Ingram said just the fear of dire world events can make rising gas prices a reality. He said the U.S. is less dependent on foreign oil than it once was, which should help moderate the price at the pump.
Jurors will get to hear testimony by medical workers who treated a 9-year-old Alabama girl who officials say was forced by her grandmother to run as punishment until she collapsed and died. A judge refused to place broad limits on what emergency responders and hospital workers could say about the way they cared for 9-year-old Savannah Hardin. The ruling comes as lawyers prepare for the capital murder trial of the child's grandmother, 49-year-old Joyce Garrard. The defense wanted to bar medical workers from giving any opinions about what happened, but the judge sided with prosecutors and refused. Garrard is set to go on trial in September.