WVAS Local News
A law enforcement official says a 5-year-old boy has been safely released after a weeklong standoff between police and the boy's abductor. The law enforcement official briefed on the situation said Monday that Jimmy Lee Dykes, the man accused of kidnapping the boy from a school bus and fatally shooting the bus driver is dead. It was not immediately clear how Dykes died. Earlier Monday, officials had said they had been sending food and medicine to Dykes and the boy in the bunker.
A group of lawmakers announced Monday that they will introduce legislation at the start of this year's regular session to exonerate the Scottsboro boys. Senator Arthur Orr of Decatur says a resolution will declare that the nine black youths were, quote, "the victims of a grave injustice." Legislation enabling the State Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant a pardon to deceased individuals for acts at least 80 years in the past will also be brought in order to allow the Board to pardon the Scottsboro boys. The nine youths were convicted by an all-white jury of rapping two white women on a train in 1931. The case went to trial multiple times and resulted in two U.S. Supreme Court Rulings, one requiring that defendants receive effective counsel and another barring the exclusion of blacks from criminal juries.
2013 Legislative Session
Alabama legislators convening Tuesday in Montgomery will faces issues ranging from abortion to guns. The House Republican Caucus is pushing a constitutional amendment that would make it harder to restrict guns in Alabama. Two Democratic leaders are backing a bill to allow people to keep guns locked in their vehicles at work.
Toomer's Corner Trees
An Auburn University official says the iconic Toomer's Corner oak trees will likely be removed a few days after an April 20th football game. Officials determined the trees are unlikely to survive despite efforts to save them after they were poisoned with herbicide.