Bill would reduce early release of violent felons in Alabama prisons

Published 3:45 pm Sunday, March 27, 2022

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By PAUL DEMARCO | Guest Columnist

This past week the Alabama House of Representatives passed legislation that would bar any inmate convicted of manslaughter from receiving “good time” that would lead to an early release.

The bill was introduced after the murders five months ago of Sheffield Police Sergeant Nick Risner and William Mealback, Jr. by a felon released from prison after serving little more than three years of a ten-year sentence for killing his father.

Currently, most convicted felons are eligible for early release from their sentences based on their behavior while in Alabama corrections facilities. This legislation will prohibit anyone that is convicted of manslaughter from being eligible for these credits to enable them to leave prison early.

This was a long time coming and a needed piece of legislation coming from lawmakers, many of whom have not necessarily put public safety first. There have been too many bills in the past few sessions that have gained traction in the Alabama Legislature that endanger the public.

Now the bill heads to the Alabama Senate for consideration.

Let’s hope this bill makes it to the Governor’s desk in the few remaining days of this legislative session.

Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives.