The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles has been without a third member since mid-December, creating the need for unanimous consent to grant paroles.

The three-member board deliberates pardons and paroles for eligible inmates in Alabama prisons and ordinarily makes decisions by majority vote. However, since former board member Dwayne Spurlock began missing meetings in November 2022, the board's remaining two members have been deliberating cases, which still require two affirmative votes for approval, only now it's unanimous.

"It has happened, but very seldomly," said Cam Ward, the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles director. "If you only have two on the board, you have to have both of them approve it, or there's no parole granted. If it's a tie vote, there is no parole granted.

According to Ward, Spurlock stopped attending meetings to care for a family member who became ill. In December 2022, Spurlock resigned from the board.

Gov. Kay Ivey appoints members to the parole board. Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, Speaker of the House Nathaniel Ledbetter and Senate President Pro Tem. Greg Reed are responsible for presenting Ivey with prospective replacements.

"Those three actually have to submit five names to the governor, and once they submit those names, [Ivey] has ten days to select someone," Ward said. "

Neither Ledbetter nor Reed responded to inquiries from 1819 News, so it's unclear how far along the process of finding a replacement is or what perspective replacements are in the mix.

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