We have obtained an Alabama Legislative Services Agency analysis of cases heard in 2021 by the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles. The numbers in this report are not encouraging, and demonstrate several disturbing trends, both for paroles as well as pardons.
Among parole applicants, only 15.7% were granted parole. This means that the average parole applicant in Alabama in 2021 has a 84% chance of being denied.
And it gets even worse from there.
If a candidate for parole is Black, only 9.3% are granted parole. Black applicants thus have a 91% chance of being denied parole by this Board. This number is real and not made up. In 2021, 9 out of 10 black parole applicants in Alabama were denied parole by this Board. While white applicants fared better, the number of white applicants granted parole was still only 23%.
The Board claims not to track the race of pardon applicants, but the raw numbers don’t provide encouragement: only 25.1% of pardon requests are being granted. A pardon applicant thus has a 75% chance of being denied by this Board.
These numbers unfortunately mirror our own experience with this Board in 2021.
We are disturbed by these numbers, especially when broken down by race of applicant. We are still waiting for someone from the Board to answer our question of how these policies benefit the people of the State of Alabama. I would now like an explanation of why white parole applicants are 2.5 times more likely to be paroled than black applicants. I imagine we will be waiting for some time for an answer to this.