AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – Several mayors from across the state held a conference supporting the family of Aniah Blanchard and urging Alabamians to vote in support of Aniah’s Law.
Blanchard, whom the law is named after, was only 19 years at the time of her death on Oct. 23, 2019.
Blanchard was kidnapped and murdered by Ibraheem Yazeed, who, at the time, was on bond for another kidnapping and attempted murder case.
The law, which Blanchard’s family has advocated for over three years, will allow judges to have a broader scope of Alabama defendants to whom they can deny bail, including those with Class A Felonies.
With the loss of a daughter and hope to prevent others from grieving a loved one, Angela Harris, Blanchard’s mother, says this law she advocated for so long will protect everyone.
“The emotion is actually overwhelming to know that, but on one end of it, it’s like my daughter gave her life, and my daughter is not here anymore. So, I’m absolutely devastated, and there aren’t even any words to describe how I feel,” said Harris. “But on one hand, I am so happy, and I know Aniah’s so happy that she is saving lives… Wow, it’s huge because of how many lives it’s going to save and how it’s going to keep our state safer.”
For Auburn Mayor Ron Anders, having Aniah’s Law on the ballots allows Alabamians the opportunity to prevent similar tragedies.
“How we ended our meeting today is probably the most important thing that we have ever done as mayors, and that’s trying to influence our state and the citizens of this state that they now have an opportunity on November the 8th to make a difference,” said Anders. “We’re not going to allow Aniah’s death to be in vain. And we’re going to convince the citizens of this state that on November the 8th to vote for Amendment one and prevent us from ever having these discussions again.”
With Aniah’s Law unanimously receiving bipartisan support from several state politicians, Alabamians have a chance to support the bill in November.