For Immediate Release:
June 1, 2023
For press inquiries only, contact:
Amanda Priest (334) 322-5694
Cameron Mixon (334) 242-7491
(Montgomery) – Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall applauds the signing of HB131 to correct a fatal flaw in Alabama’s parole system. HB131 was proposed after the infamous Jimmy O’Neal Spencer case exposed a statutory loophole that allowed a prisoner with pending charges to still be considered for parole before those charges were properly resolved. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Wes Kitchens and Sen. Sam Givhan.
“Throughout the session, this legislature has prioritized the correction of deficiencies within our criminal justice system,” said Attorney General Steve Marshall. “HB131 closes an important loophole to ensure that no offender be released on parole while new charges are pending. This is a public safety issue, but it also spares crime victims of having to show up and relive their experiences at parole hearings that are unnecessary.”
In August 2022, Jimmy O’Neal Spencer – who was serving two life sentences and was awaiting trial on three capital-murder charges – was given a parole hearing. The parole board at the time denied Spencer’s parole, but this peculiar loophole in our parole system needed to be closed.
As the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of Alabama, Attorney General Marshall has led on three public safety initiatives this legislative session, including the Deputy Brad Johnson Act and SB143 relating to criminal enterprises and gangs. Each bill has been met with overwhelming bipartisan support.