During its 2019 Regular Session, HB 380, which restructures and places severe limitations on the powers of the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles passed both legislative houses and is now awaiting the Governor’s signature, which is likely. While specifics are to be hammered out during the administrative rules process, the net result will be more restrictions on early parole considerations for most inmates. Importantly, the legislation sets rules for when a parole hearing can be held, based on specific guidelines. As is the case with nearly all legislation, there is good news and bad news. Continue reading
Alabama law requires that, before the Board of Pardons and Paroles can hear a case, they must notify any identifiable victim of their right to be present at a hearing and make their feelings known on the matter. This has two effects on those awaiting a hearing: First, it can delay the hearing as the process of locating and notifying victims progresses. Second, a victim’s wishes carry significant weight with the Board.
Here are my thoughts and experiences on the matter:
I am often asked by clients seeking Parole in Alabama what the entry on their Department of Corrections time sheet labeled “Parole Consideration Date” means. The answer isn’t as simple as it may appear. Continue reading
In the past few days, I have received a number of inquiries from people who have been or had a loved one denied parole or a pardon from the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles. These potential clients want to know how to appeal a ruling of the Pardon and Parole Board. In every case, I have to give them the bad news: There is NO APPEAL from a decision of the Board. Continue reading
Many people come to this page looking for information about Alabama’s Pardon and Parole Board. From time to time we like to update the Board’s situation and what it means for those appearing before the board on a Parole Hearing, or petitioning the Board for a Pardon.
Read on to hear about some dramatic changes to the Board’s structure, and a report on the current state of hearing delay.
The State of Alabama incarcerates nearly 26,000 inmates in a system designed to hold 13,000. The system is staffed at a 60.4% level. This combination is a recipe for disaster and will ulitmately have an adverse affect on the community at large in more ways than one. The stated Department of Corrections goal of “rehabilitation” has become a cruel joke at the expense of us all. Meanwhile, our legislature passes more and more laws requiring incarceration and takes discretion away from judges. Continue reading
After a long wait, the hearing date is finally here! What should you expect as you prepare for and appear at the parole or pardon hearing?
The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles has very strict rules for how they conduct a hearing, and it is important to be familiar with these rules.
The Board opens their doors at 7:30 AM every day that hearings are held. Those appearing on behalf of an applicant for either parole or a pardon fill out a form and are directed to one waiting room, while those representing victims or others protesting a parole or pardon are directed to another.
If you find yourself in need of a criminal defense lawyer, your first inclination might be to hire a lawyer that makes you feel the best and who makes promises or assurances of a particular result or outcome. THIS IS THE WRONG WAY TO GO ABOUT SELECTING A LAWYER.
In the increasingly competitive legal market, some lawyers will exaggerate their experience or expertise, will make promises, or guarantee results in order to get your money. The most important thing to remember is that any lawyer who makes a guarantee about the outcome of a criminal case is stupid, lying, or both.
When you meet with potential lawyers, ask yourself these questions:
So you understand the Pardon and Parole Board’s authority to grant parole or pardons. How do we get them to consider your case? The answer depends on whether you (or a loved one) is seeking a pardon or parole.
Appearing before the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles (“The Parole Board”) can be a dizzying, intimidating experience for those unfamiliar with the Board’s procedures. This is the first of a series of posts designed to remove some of the mystery from the process.
What is the Parole Board and what do they do?