Attorney General Steve Marshall Announces Settlement with Victims’ Families in Jimmy O’Neal Spencer Case
(MONTGOMERY)—Attorney General Steve Marshall announced that the State of Alabama will pay the maximum damages that may be awarded under state law—$1 million*—to the families of Jimmy O’Neal Spencer’s three alleged murder victims. The families allege that the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles wrongfully paroled and failed to supervise Spencer, resulting in the deaths of Marie Martin, Colton Lee and Martha Reliford.
Attorney General Marshall recused himself and was not a part of the settlement negotiations, having previously known two of the victims.
MONTGOMERY -- Victims of Crime and Leniency (VOCAL), the State’s largest victims’ advocacy coalition, on Tuesday expressed the organization’s full support and the urgent need for legislation reforming the Board of Pardons and Paroles. The legislation has already passed the Alabama House of Representatives.
“We sincerely hope that the Alabama Senate will make this legislation a top priority in the remaining days of the regular session,” said VOCAL Founder, Miriam Shehane. “Victims have waited for years for our state officials to listen to us and pay attention to what is going on at Pardons and Paroles. We’ve finally got an Attorney General and Governor who get it, but they lack the authority to fix this problem. For any real change to occur, we desperately need the reforms proposed in this legislation.”
Every April, OVC leads communities throughout the country in their annual observances of NCVRW.
This year, OVC commemorated NCVRW on April 7–13. This year's NCVRW theme—Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future.—celebrates the progress made by those before us as we look to a future of crime victim services that is even more inclusive, accessible, and trauma-informed. Vocal's annual candlelight vigil was held on April 12th, 2019 at 7 pm on the lawn of the Attorney General's office. The guest speakers were Chief Ernest Finley & Attorney General Steve Marshall. Many individuals who have continuously helped fight for crime victim's right's were honored that night.
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Vocal attended Proclamation Hour to receive a proclamation from the governor declaring April 7th-13th Victims Rights Awareness Week.
(Left to Right) Dr. Teresa Jones (Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Commission), Kim Martin (Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Commission), Dr. Cassie Jones (Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Commission), Melanie Beasley (Vocal, Victim Advocate), Teaonna Watson (Vocal, Counselor), Miriam Shehane (Founder of Vocal), Nayla Contreras (Vocal, Victim Advocate), Janette Grantham (Vocal, State Director), Jacqueline Fowler (Attorney General's Office), Ashley Harbin (Attorney General's Office).