AG says Alabama has very liberal good-time-served law

Brian Martin got six years and 10 months knocked off his sentence.

Posted: Oct 5, 2021 7:08 PM

The Alabama attorney general is weighing in on the killing of Sheffield Police Sgt. Nick Risner by a man who only served three years and two months of a 10-year sentence for manslaughter.

Brian Lansing Martin, the man accused of shooting Risner and two others Friday, previously pleaded guilty to killing his dad. He was arrested and indicted on a murder charge but got a plea deal for manslaughter in 2013.

Martin got out in 2016 on good time served, despite having numerous infractions while in prison.

AG Steve Marshall said he's frustrated with how Alabama and lawmakers continue to let violent offenders out of prison. He said if a person is prosecuted and sentenced to 10 years, they shouldn't be able to get large amounts of time taken off their sentence.

Martin had six years and 10 months of his sentence knocked off. If he were still in prison, he wouldn't have been able to cause so much chaos last Friday and ruin so many lives, Marshall said.

"When you look at how good time credit is calculated across the country, Alabama has the third most liberal rate compared to other states across the country, and we fall behind California and Oklahoma," Marshall said. "When somebody can have almost a 72% reduction of their sentence for somebody who is in jail for less than 15 years, we already recognize that on the front end and then the Legislature continues to pass bills and take violent offenders out even earlier, where is the accountability for public safety?"

Marshall said right now is a time of honoring Risner and his sacrifice, but it's important to look at how this could have been avoided and if any laws can be changed.

Risner did a pit maneuver to stop Martin from getting into a crowded Walmart parking lot. The Sheffield police chief is calling on Shoals lawmakers to draft bills and make changes to keep violent offenders in prison and call it Nick's Law.

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