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May 9, 2019

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Steve Marshall
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Alabama Attorney General

Attorney General Steve Marshall Hails Alabama House Passage of
Legislation to Reform State’s Badly Broken Pardons and Paroles Board
(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Steve Marshall hailed the passage of legislation
today by the Alabama House of Representatives to reform the badly broken Alabama Board
of Pardons and Paroles. House Bill 380, sponsored by Representative Connie Rowe, R-
Jasper, was passed by a vote of 73 to 27.

“For nearly a year, the people have been stunned by news stories of inmates, who were
convicted of violent crimes, being released from prison after only serving a fraction of their
just punishment behind bars. In one case, Jimmy O’Neal Spencer, a violent offender
sentenced to life imprisonment, was released back into the public after the Alabama Board
of Pardons and Paroles made the unconscionable decision to grant him parole. Months
later, Spencer brutally murdered two women and a seven-year-old boy in their homes. This
tragic failure of our justice system should have never happened – and cannot ever be
allowed to happen again.

“After Governor Ivey and I asked the Board of Pardons and Paroles to take corrective
action, it became clear that needed changes to Board’s procedures could only take place
through legislative action. It is telling that the Board has so far not only refused to take full
responsibility for its failures, but has stubbornly refused to accept needed structural
reforms. The Board has even gone so far as to lobby against legislation to make the Board
more accountable to our elected leaders and the public.

“I am pleased today that the Alabama House has heeded the call of thousands of Alabama
crime victims in passing House Bill 380 to fix the badly broken Alabama Board of Pardons
and Paroles, including giving the Governor authority to appoint a Director of Pardons and
Paroles and establish their responsibilities.

“In particular, I want to thank Representative Connie Rowe for her commitment to
correcting this extremely important public-safety problem. The legislation has been the
subject of vigorous and lengthy debate, and I appreciate Speaker Mac McCutcheon’s
dedication to positioning it for final passage. I look forward to similar efforts in the
Alabama Senate in the days to come.”
501 Washington Avenue * Montgomery, AL 36104 * (334) 242-7300