Parole hearings slated to start for more than 500 AL prisons

Approximately three dozen violent inmates are up for parole next week

Parole hearings slated to start for more than 500 AL prisons

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - This week we broke the news that dozens of violent inmates had been removed from the October parole docket following our investigation earlier this month.

There are eight parole dockets set for October that are packed with more than 500 inmates. The month’s first three dockets are set for the next week with around 170 inmates to be considered for parole.

The hearings are slated for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (Oct. 16, 17 and 18). The dockets are lengthy, averaging around 50 inmates per day who will have parole consideration. The inmates do not attend the meetings.

The first docket on Oct. 16 is compiled of female defendants, which is uncommon, and the date where the highest number of violent inmates were pulled by the Alabama Parole Board without notice.

Prior to modifying the docket for the week of Oct 16, there were 27 inmates serving life sentences up for parole, 43 were serving time for murder.

Sixteen defendants with life sentences still remain on the current dockets for next week; nine of those have served less than 15 years in prison and two of those inmates are serving back to-back-life sentences.

The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles consists of three members: Cliff Walker, appointed by former Gov. Bentley; Lyn Head, also appointed by former Gov. Bentley; and Dewayne Spurlock, appointed in May by Gov. Kay Ivey.

Each hearing is called by a bailiff who ushers in those in support of the inmate’s parole as well as those who are there to protest. All witnesses who are there to testify are sworn in for the hearing.

Those in favor of parole speak first, explaining why they feel the inmate is a good candidate for parole. The victim, or their families, along with a representative from the Alabama attorney general’s office and Victims of Crime and Leniency, or VOCAL, protest parole.

The Board then goes into executive session and immediately relays a decision.

Based on the rules of the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles, we’ve calculated around three dozen violent inmates are up early for parole on next week’s dockets.

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