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Board schedules 79 parole hearings, 30 pardon hearings this week

The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles will review 109 applicants this week after a year of record-low approvals.

Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles

The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles will review 109 applicants this week after a year of record-low approvals for individuals seeking parole.

The board at one time was granting about half of applicants parole — but that has dramatically shifted in the years since one parolee, Jimmy Spencer, allegedly murdered numerous people while on parole.

Despite the Alabama Legislature requiring the board to implement its own guidelines in 2019, the board’s statistics show no correlation between who the guidelines say should be released and who is actually released.

The guidelines typically suggest that about 80 percent of applicants should be granted parole, but the board under Chairwoman Leigh Gwathney has dropped down to releasing closer to 10 percent in 2023. 

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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