Alabama mayors hold press conference to discuss Aniah’s Law

Published: Oct. 24, 2022 at 4:18 PM EDT
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AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - Three years have passed since Aniah Blanchard was abducted from an Auburn gas station and murdered.

On October 24, Monday morning, mayors from Alabama’s largest cities gathered in Auburn to urge voters to support a new law named for Aniah.

The man charged with Blanchard’s murder was out on bond at the time. The new law, which will be on the ballot in November, will give Alabama judges more power to deny bail for people charged with violent crimes.

“We don’t want them to feel the same pain as I felt when I woke up on October 24 and my sister was missing… so please vote November 8th amendment one,” said Elijah Blanchard.

On November 8, Alabamians will have the chance to vote on Amendment one, called Aniah’s law, named after Aniah Blanchard. In 2019, Blanchard was abducted at an Auburn gas station and later murdered. The man charged with her death was out on bond at the time of her abduction.

“There are no words to describe how I feel, but on one hand I’m so happy, and I know Aniah is so happy that she is saving lives,” said Angela Harris.

Ibraheem Yazeed is still awaiting trial for charges of kidnapping, attempted murder, and robbery. Monday morning, mayors from ten Alabama cities held a press conference to discuss the importance of this constitution and urged voters to support Aniah’s Law on election day.

“We’re not going to allow Aniah’s death to be in vain and were going to convince the citizens of this state on November 8 that they need to vote for amendment one and prevent us from ever having to have these discussions again in the future,” said Auburn Mayor Ron Anders

Currently, under Alabama law, judges have limited authority to deny bail to violent offenders.

Aniah’s Law states judges can deny bail to offenders when charged with murder, kidnapping, rape, sexual abuse, human trafficking, domestic violence, arson, burglary or robbery.

“It could be you. We never thought it could happen to us, you know, especially in a college campus in a college town, so this is just not about us, it’s about our state, its about other kids, its about other families and protecting everybody,” said Step-Father Walt Harris.

Click here to learn more information about Aniah Blanchard.