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WAAY 31 I-TEAM: Victims' families praise passage of bill to reform Alabama parole board

Victims' families are pleased the bill passed and hope this will lead to change.

Posted: May 31, 2019 4:30 PM
Updated: May 31, 2019 6:55 PM

On Friday, victims' families told the WAAY 31 I-Team they're pleased some reform is coming to Alabama's Board of Pardons and Paroles.

The governor and attorney general demanded the board show more respect to those families, back in October 2018. 

Tonia Hutto-Bass wrote letter after letter, emailed and called just about every lawmaker in the state asking them to pass the parole bill. She did all of this to fight for her brother.

"He probably would have said, 'I am proud of you sissy. That's what you do, you go get them,'" said Tonia Hutto-Bass, as she described what her late brother, Bryan, would say to her right now.

She fought for Bryan, because she's his voice now. Bryan was murdered in 2010. His killer came up for an early parole hearing in October after only serving about seven years on a life sentence. The board said it canceled the hearing as soon as it learned of the mistake, but that did little to comfort Hutto-Bass.

"Shocked and angered. We didn't expect it to be early, not that early," said Hutto-Bass.

She does find comfort in knowing Governor Kay Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall have more oversite of the board and the soon-to-be law stops early paroles and strengthens victim notification.

"It's given me confidence in the fact that the governor and attorney general will now have the control they need over them and do the changes we need," said Hutto-Bass.

Bass thanks Senator Cam Ward, House Representative Connie Rowe and other state leaders for getting the parole bill passed.

"I sent letters to everybody I could. I talked to everybody I could. This is important and it makes you step out of your own box," said Hutto-Bass.

Hutto-Bass said the pain of losing someone to a violent crime never stops, but repeated errors by the parole board can.

"Someone else doesn't have to go through this," she said.

Alabama Parole Board Chair Lyn Head refused to give WAAY 31 a comment about the bill after it passed the Senate on Thursday.

The governor's office said it doesn't have a time frame on when the bill will be signed, because it's in a review process, which is standard for any bill. However, Ivey said she will be signing it. After it's signed into law, the changes will take effect in three months.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 41362

Reported Deaths: 983
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4944152
Montgomery4021103
Mobile4005134
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Marshall170210
Lee135937
Madison13597
Shelby122723
Morgan10715
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Houston4794
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Pike4205
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Coffee3732
Bullock36810
St. Clair3662
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Barbour3472
Escambia3376
Calhoun3325
Hale31021
Talladega3037
Marengo30211
Wilcox2908
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Dale2820
Clarke2736
Jackson2682
Winston2543
Chilton2392
Monroe2342
Blount2301
Pickens2276
Marion21913
Conecuh2047
Randolph2009
Choctaw19512
Bibb1871
Macon1859
Greene1838
Perry1701
Henry1323
Crenshaw1253
Lawrence1070
Washington1057
Cherokee857
Geneva790
Lamar751
Fayette681
Clay642
Coosa581
Cleburne361
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 50140

Reported Deaths: 637
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby11560198
Davidson10726118
Rutherford291935
Hamilton271635
Sumner159352
Trousdale14965
Williamson126815
Out of TN11647
Knox11425
Wilson91017
Putnam8827
Robertson82611
Sevier7903
Lake6910
Bradley6743
Tipton6375
Unassigned6351
Bledsoe6191
Bedford5595
Montgomery5497
Macon4523
Maury3423
Hardeman3295
Hamblen3174
Fayette3122
Madison2912
Loudon2801
Rhea2780
Dyer2481
McMinn23218
Cheatham2251
Blount2183
Dickson2060
Cumberland1804
Lawrence1576
Washington1490
Lauderdale1433
Monroe1386
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Jefferson1270
Coffee1170
Smith1161
Sullivan1162
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Chester340
Perry340
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Jackson260
Morgan251
Stewart230
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Union180
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Houston150
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Moore120
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Pickett60
Hancock40

 

 

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