Alabama Governor Robert Bentley says he used his trip to Japan to strengthen existing relationships with Japan to strengthen existing relationships with Japanese companies. Bentley told reporters that his five-day trip focused mostly on relationship building, but also included some economic development and recruitment opportunities. Bentley says he met with top executives from Honda and Toyota, both of which have operations in Alabama.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is calling attention to an Alabama law that allows judges to impose death sentences after juries have voted to send defendants to prison for life. Sotomayor and Justice Stephen Breyer were the only two justices who voted Monday to hear an appeal from a death row inmate who was convicted of killing Montgomery police officer, Keith Houts in 2006. Sotomayor took the unusual step of issuing a dissent from the court's order rejecting the appeal of defendant Mario Woodward. The justice said that Alabama trial judges are elected in partisan proceedings and appear to have "succumbed to electoral pressures." The jury voted 8-4 to send Woodward to prison for life. The trial judge sentenced him to death instead.
A rally for education was held Monday in the Raplh D. Abernathy Auditorium on the campus of Alabama State University. The gathering is part of a slate of activities celebrating the annual American Education Week. Chair of Instructional Support Programs at ASU, Dr. Necoal Driver, say it's important to keep students focused on education. The week wraps up Thursday with a "Building Bridges for Education" cookout at the Ralph D. Abernathy courtyard. All area colleges are invited to attend.