LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – The State has responded to former Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely’s filing that his trial judge was not properly licensed or authorized to practice law during his trial.
Blakely’s attorneys say retired Alabama Court of Appeals Judge Pamela Baschab’s status with the state bar association was not up to date during Blakely’s trial and conviction in July 2021. They filed a motion to the state to ‘set aside his conviction’ given Baschab’s status.
However, according to the response from the state, they have no jurisdiction in Blakely’s case since he is in the appeals process.
The state’s court filings noted, “Should Blakely elect to dismiss his appeal, however, the State is prepared to forcefully refute his misguided allegation in an appropriate forum.”
Attorney General Steve Marshall also released a statement regarding Blakely’s latest filing.
Mike Blakely’s latest attempt to avoid serving his jail sentence is meritless. The trial against him was fair, and a jury of his peers correctly convicted him on two felonies. The Honorable Pamela Baschab flawlessly conducted that three-week trial, while also correctly addressing a multitude of pre-trial and post-trial issues. The State stands ready to vigorously defend the jury’s verdicts in any forum in which Mr. Blakely attempts to evade justice.Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall
On Thursday afternoon, Blakeley’s attorneys replied to the state’s response by saying “a void judgement or order is subject to attack at any time.” The called for the court to make Baschab recuse herself and have a new judge appointed, as well as set aside the sentencing order.
The state bar says legislation requiring justices and judges in the state to be licensed attorneys was not enacted until October 2021. Blakely’s trial was in July 2021.
The judge’s license went inactive a week before Blakely’s trial for non-payment of dues. But the state says retired judges are exempt from licensing requirements.
According to the Alabama Bar Association membership site, Baschab is now up to date on her dues for the 2021-2022 year. As of August 25, she purchased an occupational law license for the state of Alabama.
She will be required to pay this year’s dues on or before September 30.