Judith Ann Neelley has spent the last 32 years in an Alabama prison for helping her sicko husband kidnap and murder a 13-year old girl in 1982.
They chained little Lisa Ann Millican to a bed in a dirty motel room in Scottsboro, raped and beat her repeatedly, injected drain cleaner into her neck in a botched murder attempt, before driving to the rim of Little River Canyon near Fort Payne where — against her pleas to go home — shot the girl in the back and tossed her body over the ledge.
Next month Neelley will appear before the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles and beg for her freedom.
Should we set her free?
Of course not. The question shouldn’t even be asked, actually.
Neelley would have probably been executed years ago had former Gov. Fob James not commuted her death sentence on his final day in office in 1998. She found Christ, he thought, and that was enough for the governor to find mercy.
That’s great. Jesus saves, but the State of Alabama doesn’t. Different jurisdictions and all.
Our State Legislature wasn’t as impressed as James, so it eventually passed a law forbidding Neelley from ever being set free.
The courts just ruled that law unconstitutional, though, so now Neelley is up for parole.
Need to know more of the gruesome details of what they did to poor little Lisa Ann Millican? I can’t stomach to write them here, but watch this episode of Dateline NBC Mysteries if you dare.
(Note: The Neelleys also kidnapped and killed another woman and tried to kill her fiancee. Years later, Neeley’s husband died in a Georgia prison.)
I’m sure there are some people who believe Neelley has been rehabilitated, has become a good Christian, and that three decades behind bars is punishment enough.
And I’m sure that most people believe that Neelley should have fried in the electric chair back in the 1980s or, at the very least, should never see the light of day.
But it isn’t up to most people, or even some people.
It’s now up to just three — Cliff Walker, Lyn Head, and Terry G. Davis. They sit on the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles Board and will decide Neelley’s fate at a hearing on May 23rd in Montgomery.
Send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know what you think.
And let’s keep Judith Ann Neelley behind bars.