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Parole Board denies Dubose

By By MICHELE GERLACH Publisher
A three-member panel of the state Board of Pardons and Paroles deliberated only minutes Monday before denying Edward Russell Dubose parole for the next five years.
Dubose is serving a life sentence for the 1988 murder of Stephanie Marie King and currently is incarcerated at Limestone Correctional Facility in north Alabama.
It was the best ruling possible for the King family. The parole board could have scheduled Dubose's next parole hearing as soon as next November.
She and her husband, Ray, and daughter, Amanda King Creighton, all testified at the parole hearing, as did Aaron Raulerson, a member of Stephanie King's graduating class; Attorney General Troy King; a representative of the governor's legal staff; Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith; and assistant district attorney Reo Kirkland, who tried Dubose's cases. Approximately 50 people attending the hearing in opposition to Dubose's possible parole.
Attorney General Troy King, who is not related to the victim's family, told the parole board that Dubose should "serve every day of his life sentence."
Dubose originally was sentenced to die in the electric chair for Stephanie King's murder. However, that conviction was overturned on appeal when it was decided that the state should have provided Dubose with an expert DNA witness in his original trial. In his second trial, he plead guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.
Aaron Raulerson, a member of Stephanie King's senior class who is now an Episcopal priest, told the parole board that "God is a god of mercy and a God of justice."
Creighton introduced herself to the parole board as "Stephanie's little sister." She said in the years since her sister's death, she has fought to overcome feelings of fear and grief.
However, Creighton said, in the days since she learned there was a possibility Dubose could be paroled, "all of the bad feelings came back."
She said she "reverted to a child of nine" who was afraid when she lost her sister, "a teen-ager constantly checking locks and windows."
She said Dubose "should have died in the electric chair like he deserved," adding that the value of a life sentence should equal the value of her sister's life, the 16 years that she had, and the life that she missed; the children she would have had, and the "nieces and nephews who will never meet Aunt Steph."
Ray King presented petitions bearing 3,979 signatures from people in 31 counties, 14 states, Germany and Kuwait.
Sallie King described her daughter as a person who cared for her friends and family.
Referring to when Dubose's death sentence was overturned, Mrs. King said, "He's had his second chance.
Sheriff Smith, who was Brewton's police chief when Miss King was murdered, said the evidence in the case was "overwhelming."
Kirkland told the parole board he has worked as a part-time district attorney since November of 1977.
Kirkland said he told the jury that found Dubose guilty and sentenced him to death, paraphrasing Lyndon Johnson, "All I have, I would give gladly not to be standing here today … That would mean Stephanie King was alive.
Dubose was not present at the hearing. He was represented by his attorney, Ann-Kelley Kemper of Washington, D.C., and his brother-in-law, Robert Agee.
Kemper said she got to know Dubose while representing him in the litigation phase of his trial.
She said Dubose has taken advantage of classes offered in the prison system and that he has "developed a great faith" that has "helped him maintain exemplary behavior." She called him a "gentle man," and said she did not believe he would be a threat to society if paroled.
Agee told the board that if Dubose were released, he would live with and work for him.
Dubose's sons, stepson and mother-in-law also were present.