State Sen. Cam Ward named new Pardons and Paroles director

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said Tuesday she will appoint state Sen. Cam Ward to serve as the director of the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Ward, R-Alabaster, will take over Dec. 7 from Charles Graddick, who announced he would be stepping down as director Nov. 30.

Ward, who is an attorney, is serving his third term in the Alabama Senate and is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He also worked as a deputy attorney general under former Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor.

“Cam Ward has spent his career as an attorney and public servant dedicated to Alabama’s criminal justice system,” Ivey said in a statement. “As he transitions to director of Pardons and Paroles, I’m confident that his background and experience will position him to closely follow the letter of the law while providing individuals every opportunity possible to rebuild their lives post incarceration.”

Ward will be the second director of Pardons and Paroles appointed by the governor since the Legislature approved a set of reforms in 2019. Among other things, those reforms gave the governor more power over the board.

The reforms were made in the wake of the release of Jimmy Spencer, a convict with a violent past who was released from prison. He is accused of murdering three people in Guntersville in the summer of 2018, when he should have been staying in a Birmingham halfway house.

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