Gov. Kay Ivey is imploring the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles to deny the release of convicted child murderer Judith Ann Neelley.
Neelley and her husband, Alvin Neelley, kidnapped Lisa Ann Millican, 13, from a Georgia mall. The pair took Millican to an Alabama motel where the girl was repeatedly raped, injected with drain cleaner and then executed by a gunshot to the head.
According to court documents, Judith Neelley injected the drain cleaner to kill Millican. When that failed, she shot her in the head.
Neelley was convicted of murder in 1983, and jurors recommended a life sentence. The judge disregarded the jury's recommendation and sentenced her to death. Her husband was sentenced to life and died in prison in 2005.
In 1999, then-Gov. Fob James commuted Neelley’s death sentence, giving her life in prison instead.
The parole board is slated to deliberate Neelley’s parole on Thursday.
“Please do not grant parole to Judith Ann Neelley,” Ivey said in a letter to the parole board. “Five years ago, I made that same request of this Board, and your predecessors unanimously denied parole after less than one of minute of deliberation. Although each of you has joined the Board since Ms. Neelley’s last parole hearing, nothing has changed since then that would support a different result today: Quite simply, Ms. Neelley should not be allowed to set foot outside of an Alabama prison.”
She continued, “I believe it was a mistake for Governor James to commute Ms. Neelley’s death sentence in the first place – and certainly to do so in the way that allows Ms. Neelley the possibility of parole. Now, every five years, the wounds of these families are reopened as they wait with bated breath for your decision.”
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