Parole hearings expected to resume this week

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Nearly two months ago, Alabama's Bureau of Pardons and Parole canceled over 100 parole hearings as new leadership took over.  The board's new director Charles Graddick says they will resume hearings this week.

Graddick was appointed by Governor Kay Ivey and took over on September 1. This came after the governor and legislature made sweeping changes to the board and ultimately who can be eligible for parole.

This past legislative session, Alabama lawmakers approved a bill to make the executive director of the Board of Pardons and Paroles an appointee of the governor.

The legislation came after parolee Jimmy O'Neal Spencer was charged with killing two women and a child last year, in Guntersville.

"That case was the final straw for the governor and I to pull the board together to say, what going on," said Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall.

Recently, Governor Ivey appointed former Alabama Attorney General Charles Graddick to oversee the agency but he does not get a vote on the three-member board.

"Their job is not to create space in the Alabama prison system," said Graddick

Here are just a few of the top key crime categories in Alabama according to the board.

  • 1005 capital murder
  • 3285 murder
  • 630 manslaughter

"The cost of housing somebody is not going to be our priority," said Graddick.

The agency also plans to add a new victim service officer.

"If I'm a victim, I want someone to care about me and quit caring about this other stuff," said Graddick.

Parole hearings are expected to resume Tuesday.

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