STATE PRETRIAL CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
The following is a state-by-state analysis of the basic procedures applicable to the preliminary stages of criminal prosecutions. The areas covered are bail, preliminary hearing, grand jury, discovery, and speedy trial. These materials were gathered from statutes, criminal rules, and judicial opinions.
All charged crimes are bailable, except capital offenses where the proof is evident or the presumption great. Excessive bail is disallowed. ALA. CONST. art. 1, §16. The Alabama Code narrows this by forbidding bail to one charged with a capital offense or charged with personal injury on another which is likely to produce death and which was committed under circumstances such as would constitute murder in the first degree if death should ensue. ALA. CODE tit. 15, §195 ( 1958). Statute enlarges the constitutional provision by permitting bail to a defendant in a capital case when the state continues a case twice owing to the absence of witnesses. ALA. CODE tit. 15, §197 ( 1958). A judge may, however, in his discretion, allow bail to one charged with a capital offense. State v. Massey, 20 Ala. App. 56, 100 So. 625 ( 1924).
The magistrate must, "as soon as may be" after arrest, swear and examine first the complainant and prosecution witnesses and then the de