Convicted killer and former death row inmate Judith Ann Neelley filed a federal lawsuit seeking a hearing before the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Neelley's complaint in federal court alleges efforts by the state legislature in 2013 aimed to prevent her from having a parole hearing in 2014, 15 years after Governor Fob James commuted her death sentence out of DeKalb County.
The complaint filed this month seeks three things: a declaratory judgment finding the legislative act unconstitutional, an initial parole hearing, and attorney fees and any other relief the court finds reasonable.
Neelley has been locked up since 1982. She was convicted in 1983 in DeKalb County for the murder of Lisa Ann Millican, who was abducted from a mall in Georgia.
Neelley injected the 13 year old girl with drain cleaner, then shot her and dumped her body in DeKalb County.
In 2003, state lawmakers led by Senator Lowell Barron, passed a bill to keep Neelley behind bars.
Her attorney argues that legislative action retroactively increases Neelley's commuted sentence in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
According to the court filing, under applicable law at the time Neelley's sentence was commuted, she would have been eligible for a parole hearing in January of 2014.
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