National Police Week 2023 will take place from May 14-20, 2023 in both the United States and Canada, providing an opportunity to celebrate the dedication and sacrifices of those who serve and protect our communities. Each year, National Police Week is observed to acknowledge and honour the courageous people who serve as law enforcement officers.
Victim Support Services
VOCAL's "Angels in the Kitchen" Cookbook is still a work in progress. We have had so many people ask to add recipes that we have waited on going to print. If you would like to add recipes, along with a photo, please send them to [email protected] or call us at 334-262-7197 if you have questions.
We want a special recipe book in memory of our loved ones or in honor of things or places we love like Alabama or Auburn Football, the State of Alabama, a special vacation or holiday.
Recent Changes in Crime Victim Related Law
Amendment 1: Denying bail to defendants charged with violent crimes
Known as Aniah’s Law, Amendment 1 would allow judges to deny bail to individuals charged with any of the following 13 first-degree violent crimes: capital murder, murder, kidnapping, rape, sexual torture, sodomy, domestic violence, human trafficking, burglary, robbery, arson, terrorism and aggravated child abuse.
The amendment actually expands upon a constitutional provision that allows judges to deny bail for defendants charged with capital offenses, such as murder. The amendment would make clear that all of the violent crimes listed would fall under that jurisdiction.
The law is named after Homewood-native Aniah Blanchard, a 19-year-old student at Southern Union State Community College who was abducted in Auburn in late 2019 and later killed. The man accused of her murder was out on bail awaiting his trial for a previous kidnapping case.
Revocation of bail would not be automatic. Before a decision could made, the judge would have to hold a hearing, allowing both prosecutors and defense attorneys to present evidence in the case.
What Sets Us Apart
At VOCAL, we have been helping victims and their rights for more than four decades. We’re an advocacy group for victims’ rights.
On the 45th anniversary of her daughter's death, Miriam Shehane shares the story of Quenette, and the effect her life had on crime victims in Alabama. VOCAL, Victims of Crime and Leniency was born from the tragedy that the Shehane family endured and their willingness to allow Quenette's legacy to help those who came after them.
If you are a victim of crime or a surviving family member that has received notice of a parole hearing or if you need information regarding the parole or pardon process, you can contact VOCAL at 334-262-7197 or email to [email protected]
Advocates are available to assist you and lodging is available for overnight prior to a hearing at no cost to crime victims.
Amendment 3: Notification of commutation
Amendment 3 would require the governor to provide notice to the attorney general and the victim’s family prior to granting a reprieve or commutation to a person sentenced to death. It also voids the reprieve or commutation if the governor does not provide notice.
The current constitution gives the governor of Alabama the power to commute a death sentence to life imprisonment or issue a reprieve from an execution. The amendment would not otherwise limit or restrict the governor’s ability to grant reprieves or commutations.
The amendment would place restrictions on a power that Alabama governors rarely use. According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Fob James is the only Alabama governor to have commuted a death sentence since the state resumed carrying out executions in 1983.
Almost 17 years after Lisa Ann Millican, 13, was raped and murdered, her family was told to prepare: The state soon would set an execution date for the woman a DeKalb County jury had convicted of brutally killing Lisa.
Instead, the family got a "complete sucker punch" from then-Gov. Fob James, Cassie Millican said. A few days before leaving office in 1999, James commuted Judith Ann Neelley's death sentence to life in prison. Alabama laws at the time meant not only would Neelley escape execution, but she would also be eligible for parole.
Alabama man convicted of capital murder in brutal 1999 deaths of Tracie Hawlett, J.B. Beasley
Story by Carol Robinson, al.com • Apr 26 Alabama man convicted of capital murder in brutal 1999 deaths of Tracie Hawlett, J.B. Beasley – al.com A 49-year-old Alabama was convicted Wednesday of capital murder in the brutal 1999 murders of two high school seniors in the Wiregrass. The convictions are for two counts of capital murder-vehicle, one…
Paul DeMarco: As violent crime increases public safety must be the first priority for Alabama State officials this legislative session
By Paul DeMarco Despite aggressive lobbying by liberal advocacy groups, the Alabama House of Representatives and Senate have passed legislation that has given prosecutors and law enforcement more tools to protect citizens. In 2019, reforms were passed to strengthen the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles which fixed a broken system that had allowed violent…
Ivey signs “good time” bill into law
Under the new law, perfectly behaved incarcerated individuals will begin to earn 30 days off for each 30 days served. ByJACOB HOLMES Ivey signs “good time” bill into law (alreporter.com) Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law Friday a bill that will slash the accrual of correctional incentive time in Alabama’s prison system. “I want to…
Together We Can!
VOCAL can provide:
- Safety & Refuge for Victims in Alabama
Victims of Crime and Leniency (VOCAL) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established in 1982. We are an advocacy group for victims’ rights consisting of concerned citizens, victims of crime and their families, law enforcement officers, attorneys, and others interested in reducing crime and improving the plight of its victims.
- Public Education & Awareness
VOCAL Angel House advocates for victims’ rights and services for victims of violent crime, providing direct services to victims and their families and public education and awareness.
- Victim Advocates
Our advocates work closely with the staff in all phases of the Criminal Justice System, assisting with tasks such as: