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 felons back on the street commit more crimes. After the murder of Aniah Blanchard, a constitutional amendment was sent by lawmakers to the voters and ultimately became the law which allows judge to deny bail to offenders who are accused of violent crimes. Last year, the Nick Risner Act was signed into law and would prohibit anyone convicted of killing another person with a deadly weapon from getting an early release under the state’s “good time” laws.
This year after the murder of Bibb County Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Johnson, a bill was just passed by the legislature which would further reduce the amount of time inmates in Alabama state prisons can get for “good time” credits to exit prison before their sentence expires. When this law is signed into law, it will streamline a system that has been inconsistent in application and allowed inmates out much earlier than their imposed sentence.
But there is still work to be done.
Recently Huntsville Police Officer Garrett Crumby died in the line of duty on March 28th. The murder of another police officer in Alabama is sadly a reflection of what is occurring in this country. So far in the United States this year there have been 99 members of law enforcement shot and 10 officers have been killed by ambush.There have been 32 police officers shot in 27 separate ambush-style attacks across the Nation. Since 2020 there is now a 57 percent increase in the number of officers shot in the line of duty.
And what you see time and time again is the shooter is a repeat felon. The accused that shot and killed Officer Crumby had been arrested for felony assault charges for shooting two people in January of 2022. He should have never been back on the streets with his violent history.
Our judicial system has failed us again in Alabama and allowed the murder of another Alabama Police Officer. Thus, the Alabama Legislature should continue their progress in closing the dangerous loopholes in our justice system that allows dangerous individuals back into our communities.
Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives and can be found on Twitter at @Paul_DeMarco