Speech to Text for Breken Terry interviews Parole Board Chair Lyn Head about proposed Alabama parole board changes.
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the waay 31 i-team learned - plans to potentially fix alabama's broken pardon and parole system may die in the senate. an activist sent the i-team this email. it says "the senate plans to let "s-b 42" die without it going to the senate floor for a vote." it continued with - "the passage of sb 42 is in danger of failure." leaders of the parole board call the bill bad for the state and urged its workers to fight against it. all of this started when the i-team uncovered the board repeatedly failed to follow its own guidelines. for the first time, the parole board chair went on camera with waay 31's breken terry. she explained why she thinks her employees are doing a good job and change is not needed. head- the attorney general has never pointed me to a reason why... why is he better able to judge what we do and what we don't than i am. lyn head is defiant. she's the best person to lead alabama's pardon and parole board. governor kay ivey promoted head to chair late last year to shake up the board after a series of mistakes... punctuated by head and two other members letting a career criminal serving a life sentence out on parole. jimmy spencer is now charged with killing three people in marshall county. head: given his background there was no way to predict he would do this. me: to predict that jimmy spencer wouldn't do this? head: right? but there was. spencer spent more than 30 years in prison... escaped at least three times and repeatedly got into trouble for attacking guards and other inmates. me: yall had seen all of spencer's disciplinaries leading up to him being paroled. why did yall still decide to parole him? head: i did not specifically vote to parole him so i can't really comment. head didn't vote for or against spencer's parole and repeatedly told me she doesn't remember why. she also mentioned spencer's prison violations dropped as he got older. head's adamant nobody showed up to speak against his parole... but admits the board never told spencer's victim and the district attorney in franklin county insists he didn't know either. head questions that claim. sot 4:24 into phone call "our file says he got notified. whether he didnt see it. whether it got lost in the mail. nobody can say that. our file says we sent the notice." lawmakers want to make sure notification is sent and received. they also want to stop early parole for violent offenders and see better relationships between the board and victim's families. me: the attorney general and governor came out and introduced this legislation, why is the parole board against this legislation. head: well there are actually some really good parts to this legislation. the codification of our policies that really has no effect on us because we are going to follow our policies anyway. but the waay 31 i-team uncovered the board of pardon and parole didn't follow its policies in spencer's case. errors range from misclassifying spencer as a non-violent offender, to failing to notify his victim and spencer's parole officer taking weeks to respond when police in sardis arrested him on drug charges. head- i think because of the incident with spencer and the mistakes made with early consideration those circumstances have highlighted the negative perception of our agency as a whole. butt with our agency is going to never make popular decisions were releasing people from prison who have done some seriously bad things. it's why head, marshall and the state activist group for victims are so focused on the spencer case. plus, how much oversight of the parole board is needed and who should be responsible. head: we're a legislative agency that executive order, we were actually asked i had a lawyer call and ask does she have the authority to tell your agency to do anything and i said legally no waay 31's breken terry is live in lauderdale county. breken - the sponsor of the senate bill wants it heard on the floor this week. is that going to happen? all of our previous reporting on this case is online at waay t-v dot com under the