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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with U. W. Clemon, July 17, 1974. Interview A-0006. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Desire to annex white suburbs into Birmingham and push back the death penalty

Clemon describes one of his legislative goals, which is to give the city of Birmingham greater annexation power. This power would allow the city to absorb white suburbs that have been resisting joining the city. He also intends to filibuster the reintroduction of the death penalty, if it arises.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with U. W. Clemon, July 17, 1974. Interview A-0006. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

What kind of goal do you have in so far as legislature is concerned?
I guess my principal concern is to aid in whatever way possible in the enactment of a new criminal code in this state. Alabama's criminal laws and criminal administration in the state is 19th century. And there is presently a commission of the Alabama Bar Association which has been studying the laws and has prepared a draft of a new criminal code. I'll be fairly active in promoting that particular item. I'll address myself to certain local problems. I spoke about the proposal to require the election of city officials by wards, which will apply generally in cities of over 50,000. I also am interested in a study, and subsequently a statute, giving to Alabama cities greater powers to annex territory. Birmingham, at the present time, has an annexation problem in that the surrounding white municipalities don't want to come into the city of Birmingham. There are some black areas which, in most cases, are not immediately contiguous to the city. And there's a problem in having those areas annexed into Birmingham. As a matter of fact, basically the only way you can do it now is by special legislative enactment. And I propose to work toward giving to cities of 100,000 or more, which would basically be Montgomery, Mobile, Huntsville and Birmingham, the power to annex territories not immediately contiguous to the city. I am sure that a proposal is going to be made, a very serious proposal, to re-instate the death penalty in this state. And I'm going to work long and hard. . . if the filibuster rule by that time has not been repealed. . . filibuster to the extent necessary to keep that proposal from becoming enacted into law.
You're opposed to any form of capital punishment?
Yes I am.
For any crime.
That's right.