After a long wait, the hearing date is finally here! What should you expect as you prepare for and appear at the parole or pardon hearing?
The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles has very strict rules for how they conduct a hearing, and it is important to be familiar with these rules.
The Board opens their doors at 7:30 AM every day that hearings are held. Those appearing on behalf of an applicant for either parole or a pardon fill out a form and are directed to one waiting room, while those representing victims or others protesting a parole or pardon are directed to another.
Around 9 AM, the board will begin calling hearings, and the interested parties are directed to the hearing room. Proponents of parole or pardon are seated on one side of the room, opponents on the other. The Board does not limit how many supporters can attend a hearing, but the room does have somewhat limited capacity.
Each side is allowed to have up to three people speak with the board. Speakers stand at a podium placed in front of the board members. If you are speaking, make sure that you give the board some good reasons to agree with your position. You won’t make a good impression making emotional arguments or suggesting to the board that the person in question isn’t guilty or that there was a miscarriage of justice. Even if you feel that way, that’s just not going to be an effective argument before the board.
Another common mistake is to have two or three people say almost the exact same thing to the board. This is a waste of everyone’s time. If you are going to have more than one person speaking, plan ahead of time to cover different areas of interest to the board. The experienced pardon and parole lawyers at Skier & Associates can help you to do this in the most effective way.
After each side has had a chance to speak, the board will go into “executive session” which means they will privately discuss the matter for a short time. The secretary will then announce the board’s decision.
It is important to remember that you only get one shot at this hearing, so it’s crucial to make the best presentation that you can. Consider consulting with Skier & Associates and deciding whether we can be of assistance in helping you prepare and present your case to the Board. Call our office today to schedule a consultation, either in person or via telephone.