Submitting information in a parole hearing claiming that it is from the victim and in favor of an inmate’s parole is never a good tactic. I personally do everything I can to avoid instances such as the one attached from happening. I employ the following methods and perhaps the defense attorney on this matter should have, too:
1. I review any outside letters to be placed in the inmate’s packet for parole that I submit. Exceptions occur when DOC employees are writing letters on my Client’s behalf and choose to submit the letters directly to the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles, or electronically through the IPO or Classification Officer at the facility.
2. I speak with the person prior to them writing the letter. We discuss their relationship with the inmate and what I feel they would be best suited to write based on their knowledge of the person and other factors.
3. Once the letter is submitted to me for review, I follow-up with that particular person to discuss their submission.
4. I ensure the person submitting the letter provides their contact information so the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles can verify said information.
5. I encourage victim’s and/or their representatives to attend parole hearings when their testimony will be in favor of an inmate. As a general rule, and out of respect for the victim and/or their family, I do not contact them to discuss the matter prior to hearing. If they choose to contact me to discuss the matter or write a letter in support of my Client, then that is fine. However, while these situations do occur, they are rare and should be treated sacred.
*The bottom line is the Attorney should have authenticated the information before submission of said information to the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles.
*The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles rectified the situation by reviewing the matter further and making the decision to deny parole because the falsified information had been relied upon in granting parole.
*This instance speaks to the character of the inmate and the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles made the proper decision in my opinion.