TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Hays Webb supports Governor Kay Ivey stopping the practice of early parole for some violent offenders.
The moratorium is in place until a corrective action plan can be implemented to restore public confidence in the state’s parole system. Webb calls the practice of pardoning some violent offenders earlier than the law allows a danger to the community.
“We don’t have a lot of tools in our toolbox and obviously punishment, putting people behind bars at times is the only way to keep the community safe,” Webb told WBRC Tuesday.
Governor Kay Ivey said District Attorney’s, victim’s advocates, and others complained to her that the State Pardon and Parole Board was releasing some prisoners too early.
WBRC talked to the Governor Monday in Eutaw. She felt members of the Pardon and Parole Board over stepped their bounds and did not abide by their primary role to enhance public safety.
“We’ll handle the prisons and the overcrowding situation with the Department of Corrections. Pardons and parole doesn’t have a role in that. I think some of the members were feeling that way and I had to say that’s not your mission,” Governor Ivey concluded.
Webb said releasing violent offenders nearly half the time earlier than they should erodes the public’s confidence in our legal system.
“Somebody is supposed to be gone for 5 years and 2 years later here they are and you’re seeing them on the street. What’s going on? It’s as far from truth in sentencing as you can possibly have,” Webb explained.
Governor Ivey also changed the pardon and Parole Boards' leadership in light of the moratorium. Former Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Lyn Head now chairs the board.