Earlier this year, the Alabama Legislature passed and Gov. Kay Ivey signed the Sgt. Nick Risner Act (HB143), into law.

On July 1, that law, meant to keep dangerous offenders from being released early for "good time," went into effect.

Risner, a member of the Sheffield Police Department, was killed in the line of duty in October 2021. He was a K-9 officer.

The suspect in that killing, Brian Martin, was previously convicted of manslaughter. Martin is also accused of killing another man, William Mealback Jr., during the same incident.

The Nick Risner Act, sponsored by State Rep. Phillip Pettus (R-Greenhill), puts limitations on convicts who used a deadly weapon to kill someone from being released early under Alabama's "Good Time" law.

The so-called "good time" provision allowed inmates to subtract time from their sentence with the time served with good behavior. 

Before the law went into effect, inmates who had been convicted of a Class A felony or a sex offense involving a minor or sentenced to more than 15 years or death were not eligible for "good time."

"Standing up for our men and women in blue is a top priority for my administration," Ivey said when signing the legislation into law. "Sergeant Risner's killer should have never been released from prison in the first place, and while there is nothing that can be done to reverse this horrific tragedy, this legislation will go a long way in ensuring violent offenders remain off the streets. I'm especially thankful to Representative Phillip Pettus, and the members of both the House and Senate for ensuring this life-saving legislation got across the finish line. My prayers remain with the Risner family."

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com.

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