Alabama Lawmakers Mull New Looting Legislation

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Before the anniversary of the killer tornadoes of Apr. 27, 2011, the Alabama Legislature may create a new crime that provides up to 10 years in prison for looting following a natural disaster.

The looting legislation, sponsored by Republican Rep. John Merrill of Tuscaloosa, cleared the House last month and the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, all by unanimous votes.

All the bill needs to become law is approval by the Senate and signing by the governor.

Merrill said he's optimistic that will happen before
April 27.

Merrill's bill applies to looting after the governor or
president has declared a state of emergency. He said burglary laws don't always work after a natural disaster because a burglar must enter a building, and buildings are often destroyed after a natural disaster.

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  • by bearhunter on Apr 15, 2012 at 08:18 PM
    all i can say is food and water are avaliable all over just like when katrina hit. there were mres and water being givin out all over. but there was looting of tvs and other goods rampent in LA. I remember working in homestead FL after andrew hit and the signs that people had painted on their places and stores said " you loot we shoot" that sounds better then jail. take out the trash. be prepared, store water ammo and food. nothing wrong with having a stash in the ground or somewere.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 13, 2012 at 02:51 PM
    How will this apply to people who are desperate for food and/or water. I remember a Mississippi sheriff hijacking a FEMA truckload of ice during Katrina. Sometimes people do what they must to survive, and Alabama wants to imprison them. Is putting people in jail the solution to everything?
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