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I-Team: Governor and Attorney General plan to release second response to parole board next week

The governor put a stop to early paroles in October 2018 and advised the board to fix its issues.

Posted: Jan 25, 2019 4:40 PM
Updated: Apr 11, 2019 12:45 PM

The WAAY 31 I-Team learned Friday that next week the governor and attorney general will likely release their opinions on the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles' second corrective action plan to fix a broken system.

Governor Kay Ivey said after going over the parole board's new plan, there are some improvements, but a lot of things still must be addressed. She did not go into detail on what areas still have flaws.

Governor Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall Governor Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall

Jimmy Spencer

"It has some positive improvements in it. There are still some areas yet to be addressed," Ivey said.

In the past, the governor said one of her major concerns with the parole board is it seeing no need to make any changes to its executive staff. 

"The general and I had a telephone conversation about it and talked about some of those things, and we will keep working to make sure things are in place as they ought to be," Ivey said.

The board's second corrective action plan discusses more training for staff in the victim services unit, travelling to Georgia to see how its parole system works and it says an inmate must have a clean disciplinary record for at least three years prior to being considered for parole.

"We're still just reviewing the entire report," Ivey said.

The WAAY 31 I-Team began looking into the parole board's policies and procedures after it paroled a dangerous man who should have never been let out.

Jimmy Spencer was supposed to be serving a life sentence when he was paroled. He had multiple run-ins with police and was even arrested on drug charges after he was paroled, but he never went back to prison. He's now accused of murdering three people, including a child, in Guntersville.

Spencer remained a violent man while in prison, having some 50 disciplinary reports filed against him. Victims in his previous case were not notified about his parole hearing, because the board said it made a mistake, misinterpreted state law and didn't think it had to notify this specific victim.

As WAAY 31 investigated the parole board, flaws were found in which victims in other cases were not being properly notified about hearings and multiple cases where inmates in prison for serious offense had come up for early parole. After the investigation, the governor put a stop to early paroles in October 2018 and advised the board to fix its issues.

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For more information about the investigation, click HERE.

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