Speech to Text for Parole Board Passes Bill in the House
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go find the information. tonight we're waiting to see when the next steps will be taken in a bill that will transform alabama's parole board. the bill passed the house yesterday in a marathon session. it now moves to the senate. the governor and attorney general pushed for change after the waay 31 i-team uncovered serious flaws in the system. waay31's breken terry joins us live in the shoals to show us what's next, and how likely the measure is to pass. breken? it's now up to senator cam ward to carry the parole bill through the senate. he told me the bill will likely be on the calendar within the next two weeks. he expects some opposition but believes he can carry it to passage. victims families tell me they need this bill to become law.. and were happy to see it pass the house. bass- we're ecstatic. i was literally doing a happy dance in here. tonia hutto bass commends representative connie rowe for standing six hours on the alabama state house floor defending the parole bill and bringing it to passage. bass- this is something we have fought for, for so long. the bill would directly affect bass. her brother's killer is serving a life sentence. the waay31 i-team began investigating and talking with bass when the killer came up for an early parole hearing in 2018, after only serving six years. bass- i did not expect it for what we thought would be 10 to 20 years. it enraged me i have wrote so many letters and i have fought this so hard and i will keep fighting it. the day before bass and her family made the four hour drive to montgomery to contest the killer's parole, the hearing was abruptly cancelled .. along with dozens of other early parole hearings for violent inmates. bass- if they do this to one they will do it to plenty. i mean they were going to release over 100 violent criminals that day, that we were set to go before the parole board to keep the murderer in jail.. that's appalling. the parole bill would stop early parole hearings, strengthen victim notification, and give the governor more power over the parole board.. something democrats in the house fiercely contested. bracy- were allowing the governors office at this point to deal with pardons and paroles in a manner we haven't seen before. house democrats aren't the only ones fighting the bill... emails obtained by the waay31 i-team show the parole board's executive leadership, dispute the attorney general's claim that the system is broken. one email directed employees to contest the bills, on the taxpayer's dime. bass said the parole board needs more oversight. bass- i don't think that's too much power i think that has been needed. it's well over due, it's well over due because they have no one they are accountable to and it's obvious in their emails how they feel they have done no wrong so it's time to be harsh. it's time to stand up for the victims. bass and other victims families told me they will be calling their senators and asking them to get the parole bill on the calendar and vote yes. right now lawmakers are only meeting three days a week, so its a matter of time to see when the parole bill will be heard in the senate. live in the shoals bt waay31. this legislation comes after a nearly year-long waay 31 i- team investigation. we started looking into parolee -- jimmy spencer -- who was charged with a triple murder in guntersville last summer. waay 31 learned he should never have been released! he had dozens of discplinary reports while in prison. even after his release - look at all the times he slipped through the cracks, before the murders. each of those violations should have sent him back to prison. you can find all our previous stories on spencer and the parole board