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Assistant Attorney General appointed new Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles chairperson

Leigh Gwathney has been appointed to serve as chair of the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Posted: Sep 23, 2019 4:40 PM
Updated: Sep 23, 2019 7:23 PM

Assistant Attorney General Leigh Gwathney has been appointed to serve as chair of the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles.

"She’s a proven prosecutor with an expertise and passion for the justice system, & I’m proud to call on her to serve in this capacity," Gov. Kay Ivey tweeted on Monday. Read a statement from her office here.

Attorney General Steve Marshall and Assistant Attorney General Leigh Gwathney; Courtesy of the office Steve Marshall

Lyn Head announced this month that she is resigning as the parole board chairperson, effective Oct. 1st. Read more on that here.

Victims' families that WAAY 31 spoke with said they are excited to see more change coming to the parole board. They said since Gwathney is coming from the Attorney General's office, she knows of the flaws in the system and they believe she will do a great job.

Attorney General Steve Marshall's office released this statement on Monday: 

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall applauded the appointment of Assistant Attorney General Leigh Gwathney to serve as chair of the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles effective October 16. Governor Kay Ivey announced the appointment of Gwathney Monday to replace Board chair Lyn Head who submitted her resignation on September 17.

“I applaud Governor Ivey’s selection of Leigh Gwathney to lead the Board of Pardons and Paroles,” said Attorney General Marshall. “I am confident that Ms. Gwathney will restore integrity and diligence to the Board as it returns to its core mission of thoroughly vetting Alabama prison inmates’ petitions for parole.

“I have worked with Leigh since becoming Attorney General two and a half years ago and I have been impressed with her knowledge of the law and her zeal for justice. She brings to the Board of Pardons and Paroles the perspective of a tough and experienced career prosecutor with a record of holding violent offenders accountable. She will ensure that the Board’s decisions adhere to the law and are in the best interests of the citizens of this state. I look forward to working with Leigh in the years to come.”

Attorney General Marshall also expressed appreciation to the nominating commission members —Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth, Speaker Mac McCutcheon, and Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh —for submitting Ms. Gwathney's name, among four other candidates, to the Governor for her consideration.

“I am greatly honored to be asked by Governor Ivey to serve as chair of the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles, and I will devote my best efforts to ensuring that Alabama laws are followed and public safety is protected,” said Leigh Gwathney. “I am eager to work with my fellow Board members and Director Graddick in restoring public trust in our state pardons and paroles system.”

Gwathney has been a career prosecutor with the State of Alabama for the past 18 years. She began her career in 2002 as a Deputy District Attorney with the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office (Birmingham Division) where she prosecuted violent crimes including capital murders, crimes against children, and sexual assaults. She joined the Attorney General's Office in 2014 where she has served in the Criminal Trials Division traveling throughout the state prosecuting crimes against persons.

A native of Birmingham, Ms. Gwathney is graduate of Auburn University and the University of Alabama School of Law. She is active in her community and Vestavia Hills Baptist Church.

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Cases: 491110

Reported Deaths: 9831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson706291356
Mobile35894721
Madison32255442
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Montgomery22462494
Shelby21820215
Baldwin19670274
Lee14900150
Morgan13599249
Calhoun13175285
Etowah13143319
Marshall11226206
Houston10048259
Elmore9337183
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St. Clair8783220
Lauderdale8581210
DeKalb8429174
Talladega7481163
Walker6504251
Jackson6477102
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Blount6086125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5230102
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Russell401831
Franklin397876
Covington3956106
Chilton384298
Escambia377172
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke342949
Dallas3397141
Chambers3392108
Pike293071
Lawrence281384
Marion280894
Winston246166
Bibb244260
Geneva238670
Marengo233354
Pickens223954
Barbour209951
Hale208868
Fayette199756
Butler195165
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe165938
Randolph163140
Washington156634
Crenshaw143554
Clay143354
Macon140943
Cleburne136839
Lamar131732
Lowndes130648
Wilcox120825
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98431
Coosa87823
Greene87032
Choctaw54823
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 770940

Reported Deaths: 11321
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Shelby867941476
Davidson81042849
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Hamilton40069459
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Williamson25081202
Sumner21216315
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Blount13959178
Bradley12775138
Washington12693232
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Putnam10566168
Madison10065228
Robertson8901118
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Anderson7922156
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Carter5938152
McMinn589190
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Bedford5771117
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Hawkins520794
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Obion435994
Rhea412973
Lincoln411761
Cocke396892
Marshall389254
Cheatham386844
Campbell379159
Weakley377859
Giles371795
Henderson361473
Carroll347081
Hardeman338064
Macon335573
White335066
Hardin330462
Lauderdale309642
Henry299275
Marion290942
Wayne286730
Scott285842
Overton283957
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Haywood264560
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DeKalb261849
Smith254236
Grainger241546
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Johnson215938
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