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Limestone Co. sheriff questions executive motives involving parole board

Sheriff Mike Blakely has different ideas about the executive order Governor Ivey signed on Monday. He said there are more important priorities.

Posted: Oct 16, 2018 6:30 PM
Updated: Oct 17, 2018 4:29 PM

WAAY 31 found out that not all police agencies believe Governor Ivey's executive order  will bring lasting change.

“It’s not just a situation of, 'Awe, look, the parole board messed up. We need to go ahead and throw the baby out with the dishwater.' The legislature needs to address some issues with the problems we’ve got in our prison system," said Limestone County Sheriff, Mike Blakely.

Blakely said that while it’s important to make sure violent offenders aren’t released early, measures are already in place to keep it from happening.

“I have never, in my 36 years as sheriff, had the parole board—if I went down and opposed someone being released early or if I wrote a letter opposing that—they have always honored our requests and did not grant parole at that time," Blakely said.

That’s the kind of experience he's had with the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles, and that’s why he doesn’t think they should be under fire.

“When somebody’s pointing fingers at the parole board, they’ve got four fingers pointing back at them, because this is largely due to the governor and legislature, where they have not done what they should do in making sure we’ve got enough parole officers out there to adequately follow up on these people when they’re turned loose," Blakely said.

However, Sheriff Blakely said he understands that sometimes things can fall through the cracks, such as releasing people like Jimmy Spencer from prison.

“There’s a lot of people that are turned loose that have nothing in their time while incarcerated or their previous crimes that indicate they would come out and kill somebody, but we have that happen all the time, too," said Blakely.

But still, Sheriff Blakely says Monday's executive order wasn't really his top priority.

“I’m more concerned about the people out there on the streets that we can’t get in prison than the ones that have served some time and are getting out," he said.

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