Thursday, September 9, 2010

Kill Your Wife & Do Five Years

Terry Ewell Hall's wife died on September 7, 2008. Exactly two years later, Hall agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter in exchange for a sentence of only 15 years. Manslaughter in Alabama may bring as much as 20 years, but as with any sentence of 15 years or under, Hall is now eligible for Correctional Incentive Time, aka Good Time. The evidence against Hall was circumstantial, and Charlene Hall's family agreed to the sentence--a bird in hand and quicker closure.

However, Hall will serve less than five years, assuming he behaves himself. The Cloverdale resident has requested to begin his sentence on September 14th. Assuming he's processed by the State immediately, he will be released at the end of June 2015. If the State Department of Corrections is running behind in their pickup and processing of new prisoners, Hall may not complete his sentence until the end of July 2015. That equals a total sentence of four and three-quarter years--that is if Terry Hall is not paroled.

Yes, Hall could be eligible for parole long before he ends his sentence. It's not unusual to see inmates serving a 15 year sentence leave prison in as little as 20 months. Most who are paroled have not been convicted of violent crimes, and we hope Hall will never see his name on parole papers. Charlene Hall doesn't deserve any less.


Speaking of prison sentences, one reason for the crowding of Alabama prisons is the incarceration of those guilty of white collar crimes. For our purposes, a white collar crime involves no violence and can usually be said to fall under the umbrella of theft. Currently, between three and six other states demand the same, depending on the exact nature of the crime.

Not all white collar theft is equal, and we don't oppose the sentence fitting the crime. It's when the State of Alabama demands a stiff prison sentence for the white collar first offender and allows the Terry Halls of the world to serve less than five years for murder/manslaughter that we question both the intelligence and the morality of the system.


It seems Whitesell Mfg. isn't the only company to face the wrath of OSHA inspectors recently. Pilgrim's Pride in Russellville has been charged with 29 safety and health violations. On a totally unrelated topic, Hispanic workers report an on-the-job injury rate that is almost double that of their co-workers.


Can't get enough Whitesell? Buy a souvenir on eBay--it's only five dollars: Link


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