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Governor Ivey Discusses Parole Reform While In Huntvsille

Governor Ivey was at the VBC in Huntsville today discussing issues in the current legislative session, and also talked with WAAY 31's Breken Terry regarding the reform of the Alabama parole board.

Posted: Jul 10, 2019 6:52 PM
Updated: Jul 10, 2019 6:52 PM

Speech to Text for Governor Ivey Discusses Parole Reform While In Huntvsille

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was behind the act. the waay31 i-team learned that parole board chairperson lyn head's term expired in june. however, she's still in charge. waay31's breken terry joins us live after pressing governor kay ivey to find out why she is still the lead... after state officials saying the parole system is broken under the current leadership. i am here at the von braun civic center where governor ivey took to the stage and discussed the 2019 legislative session. a session where lawmakers passed a law giving the governor more appointment power over the parole board. while she covered a variety of topics, she never addressed this new law. as governor ivey came off of the stage, she did a brief interview with the media, where we asked why lyn head was still the chairperson of the parole board. me:why is she still there and what changes are coming to parole board leadership? ivey: well she is still there because we haven't been able to find the right person yet to fill the vacancy but we will be making those as soon as we can. under the parole law, which goes into effect september 1st, the governor will appoint a person to serve over the three person board. the law also makes it easier for the governor to appoint the board members she wants. currently eddie cook is still the executive director of the parole board-- despite the fact he likely broke state law by sending this email directing parole employees to use state time and vehicles to contest the parole bill in may. we asked why cook was still in charge too. ivey: if it's time, if and when, there is an appointment, i will obviously make that announcement. the waay31 i-team uncovered a series of flaws in the parole system that lead to this man, jimmy spencer, being paroled, even though documents show he was a violent man while in prison. he wasn't monitored after he was paroled. within six months of his release, he was arrested on drug charges, had multiple run-ins with police, but his parole was never revoked. he was then arrested for murdering two elderly women and seven year old in guntersville almost one year ago. me: what's your message to those families? ivey: well we've changed the law to prevent early parole by serious offenders like that because the main job of the pardon and parole board is to protect public safety. to be clear jimmy spencer was not an early parolee. when he was released, the parole board also failed to notify spencer's previous victim in another case, a mistake they admitted too. yet, the same leadership, who didn't follow their own policy and procedures, are still in charge. once the new law goes into effect, we will see if real change happens. live in huntsville bt waay31. for all of the waay31 i-teams stories on the parole board and other investigations you can head over
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