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State prosecutors urge court to reject motion for Mike Hubbard’s early release

With more than half of his sentence remaining, Hubbard’s legal team filed a motion on Sept. 10 requesting early release.

Alabama speaker Mike Hubbard stands in Judge Jacob Walkers courtroom before the start of Hubbards ethics trial on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 in Opelika, Alabama. (VIA TODD VAN EMST/POOL PHOTO)

State prosecutors responded Wednesday to former Speaker of the Alabama House Mike Hubbard’s request for an early release, urging the Lee County Circuit Court to reject the request because Hubbard, they said, “offers no persuasive reason why he should serve less than half the sentence this Court ordered just ten months ago.”

Hubbard is imprisoned at Limestone Correctional Facility, where he’s been held since exhausting his appeals in late August 2020. Originally convicted of 12 felony ethics charges and sentenced to four years in prison, the Alabama Supreme Court reviewed and reduced his felony counts to six, leaving a four-year sentence.

Lee County Circuit Court Judge Jacob Walker III, the judge who originally sentenced Hubbard to those four years, later reduced his sentence to two years in November 2020.

With more than half of his sentence remaining, Hubbard’s legal team filed a motion on Sept. 10 requesting an early release.

In his request, Hubbard said he recognizes his crimes “harmed society as a whole,” and that he is ready to “rebuild trust with those who have lost faith in [him] and the entire political system.” His legal team argues he poses no threat to the public if released.

“By Hubbard’s logic, a remorseful arsonist should be released early if he expresses the desire to rebuild the home he burned down,” state attorneys wrote in their response Wednesday. “That is not how the law works, and none of Hubbard’s proffered reasons should lead this Court to hold otherwise. In short, Hubbard’s belated apology does not outweigh the other reasons he should serve his full sentence.”

At the time of his arrest, Hubbard was one of the most powerful politicians in Alabama. While chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, he played an instrumental role in the party’s 2010 state election sweeps, which ended the 136-year Democratic control at the Alabama House. Elected in 1998 to the 79th District, he served as 65th speaker of the Alabama House from 2010 to 2016.

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John is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can contact him at [email protected] or via Twitter.

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