Victims of Crime and Leniency

You may feel like no one else knows what you are going through.

We know the path you are traveling is hard.

No one has to fight this battle alone.

We are here to help you.



Miriam Shehane Obituary

Miriam Quenette Wilkinson Shehane

January 25, 1933 - June 17, 2024

Miriam Shehane, age 91, a resident of Clio, Alabama, died Monday, June 17, 2024, at her home. A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, August 3, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. at Clio Baptist Church.

Miriam is survived by her daughter: Sonya Shehane-Bradford (Jeff); daughter-in-law: Debby Shehane; grandchildren: Jordan Bradford (Tiffany), Kaelan Bradford (Mary Anna), Elizabeth Stewart (Michael), Joshua Shehane (Katy), David Shehane (Joy), Timothy Shehane and Gabriel Shehane; great grandchildren: AJ Bradford, William Stewart, John Stewart, Shauna Shehane, Eagan Shehane, Lucy Grace Shehane, Declan Shehane, Christian Shehane, Dillon Shehane, and Elinor Shehane; sibling: Joanna Wilkinson; sisters-in-law: Yvonne Price (Billy) and Fay Shehane as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her husband: Edward Shehane; children: Jon Shehane and Quenette Shehane; parents: Cody and Alma Wilkinson; parents-in-law: Louie and Versie Shehane; siblings: Peggy Eiland and Carolyn Helms; brothers-in-law: Curtis Eiland, Travis Helms, Delane Wilkinson and Howard Shehane; niece: Deborah Long; and nephews: Stephen Shehane and Blaine Price.

Miriam was a dedicated and loving wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, niece, and friend. Miriam grew up in Blue Springs, Alabama, where she married her high school sweetheart, Edward, on Thanksgiving Day in 1951. They spent nearly 65 years together in marriage before Edward's death in 2016.

During her very early years of marriage, Miriam worked at a pajama factory and The Bank of Ozark in Ozark, Alabama. In 1966, after having three children, Miriam and Edward moved from Blue Springs to Clio, Alabama, where Miriam worked at The Peoples Bank. She worked there for many years eventually becoming one of its vice presidents.

Following the death of her oldest daughter, Quenette, in 1976, Miriam began a crusade against the injustice she saw in the Alabama judicial system related to victims of crime, and eventually founded the organization known as VOCAL (Victims of Crime and Leniency). Miriam, often referred to as Alabama's Mother of Victims' Rights, spent over 40 years dedicated to VOCAL and to the service of victims of crime including areas such as law revision and creation, parole hearing and court case support, counseling, and compensation. Miriam was proud to be a member of the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Board where she served for 37 years.




Miriam also served crime victims through the Alabama Attorney General's Office where she worked as a Victim Service Officer during Jimmy Evans' term of office. Though Miriam was passionate about her work with victims, above all else, she loved spending time with her family and friends. Her loved ones were always her priority. She was young at heart and always open for an adventure. Miriam had a heart of gold and will be dearly missed.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Miriam's memory to VOCAL, Clio Baptist Church or the American Cancer Society.

Donations can be made at:

VOCAL - Victim of Crime and Leniency
Mailing address: P.O. Box 4449 Montgomery, AL 36103

For Debit or Credit Card donations: PayPal Link

Clio Baptist Church
Mailing address: 3313 Elamville Street Clio, Al 36017

American Cancer Society

Address of service location:

Clio Baptist Church 3313 Elamville Street Clio, Alabama 36017

For other questions please contact:
VOCAL Office 334-262-7197


The Inagural Voices For Victims 5K will be held on September 7, 2024. (Our original date of 6/22/24 was postponed due to the passing of our founder Miriam Shehane) The event will be held in Montgomery where the grassroots movement for crime victims' rights began in Alabama. Participants will start the race on Washington Avenue In front of the Alabama State Capital and follow Dexter Avenue to the River Walk and historic Montgomery ending at the Avenue of Flags.

There will be something for everyone! You can participate in the Live Chip Timed 5K and if you can't make it to Montgomery you and your friends or family can participate in the Virtual 5K. Organize teams or start a fundraiser! Bring the kids and the dog to participate in the Fun Run/Walk immediatley after the 5K.



voices for victims

Don't wait! Sign up today and get ready to run! Or just have fun!

A fund-raising event to benefit the continued crime victim advocacy of VOCAL - Victims of Crime and Leniency.

Can you help?

There are many ways that you can be involved and help us make a difference in the lives of crime victims.

Are you a crime victim or survivor? You can set your own pace. Share information about upcoming legislation or events. Share a social media post with your friends and introduce them to VOCAL.

There is a place for everyone.

And a cape that fits you just right.

Email us at [email protected]



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The Alabama Legislative Session is over for 2024. We must continue to organize our efforts concerning crime victims rights and public safety.

There is a well-funded and organized movement to focus on the rights and conditions of convicted felons. The effect on the victim is not part of this conversation. We must step up and let our legislators know what crime does to us and our community.

Maintaining all of the progress that has been achieved for over four decades ins a constant effort. Please join us as we prespare for February 2025! We will be sending out updates about how you can effectively get your voice across to those who will vote on the passage of bills that effect your community.

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Special Projects

Victim Support Services

Cookbook Order 2

VOCAL's "Angels in the Kitchen" Cookbook is ready to order! Please follow the link below to place your order:

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.

Homicide Support Group

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.

Paul DeMarco: Alabama’s so-called “Prison Reform” Has Created More Crime Victims in Our State

By VOCAL | June 30, 2024

By Paul DeMarco Paul DeMarco: Alabama’s so-called “Prison Reform” Has Created More Crime Victims in Our State | The Trussville Tribune There are consequences when lawmakers in Montgomery listen to progressive advocacy groups and not their constituents. Two weeks ago, a violent felon was given 8 life sentences for the kidnapping and rape of two…

Paul DeMarco: Alabama leaders should advance public safety legislation to address state’s plague of violent crime

By VOCAL | June 5, 2024

Paul DeMarco | 06.03.24 – Paul DeMarco: Alabama leaders should advance public safety legislation to address state’s plague of violent crime ( This past session of the Alabama Legislature seemed to have more than its fair share of controversial issues. Between gambling, ethics reform, school choice and IVF legislation, it was hard to keep up.  But…

Alabama Attorney General Announces Indictments in 2015 Death of Eric Cates

By VOCAL | May 20, 2024

Courtesy of the Calhoun County JournalMay 19, 2024 By: Lee Evancho Walker County, AL – Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has announced the indictments of Joshua Franklin Hill, 35, and Luke Williams, Jr., 34, both of Walker County, for the 2015 death of Eric Cates. The two men have been charged with Capital Murder following…

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:
  • Death Notification
  • Media Coverage
  • Funeral Arrangements
  • Victim's Compensation
  • Trial Attendance
  • Insurance Claims
  • Crime Scene Clean-up