District Attorney to Appeal Parole Requests

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Henry and Houston County’s District Attorney, Doug Valeska, will head to Montgomery next week. He hopes to keep two men convicted of heinous crimes in Dothan, more than a decade ago, behind bars.

The first is Jose Monteverde, who is serving life in prison.

Monteverde was convicted on four counts of sodomy and one count of rape back in 1995, and after 11 years behind bars, he is asking for parole.

But district attorney Doug Valeska, who prosecuted Monteverde, says he should stay behind bars

"The victim is still afraid. She's afraid to go out she just stays home. What he gave her was a life sentence," said Valeska.

Valeska also says Monteverde should not be given the easy way out, especially when considering the nature of his crimes.

"In Alabama a life sentence should mean life. When you rape and sodomize women, you shouldn’t get any mercy. So we're going back to the parole board asking to deny his parole so that he can stay in the penitentiary, and the victim will feel safe as well as other people in this community,” Valeska said.

The other man applying for parole is 32-year-old Orlando Knight, who was convicted of murder in 1999, after he helped his brother kill another man.

His sentence was 20 years, and the victim's mother wants him to serve that much time.

"Her son was killed; they didn't have to kill him. He was shot and killed in a car and had no chance. They executed him," said Valeska.

But the issue at hand stretches far beyond these two cases.

Valeska says the state's sentencing process needs some serious restructuring.

"There's no doubt that we're overcrowded, we don't have enough dollars, we don't have enough prisons. But here's the question, what's your life worth to you, or your family, or your wife, or your child. A life sentence should mean more than 10, 15, 20, 25 years, it should mean what it says."

Even if the parole board does deny parole for these two men, both would be eligible for parole again in 2011.

Valeska along with the victims in both cases will head to Montgomery to appeal to the parole board Tuesday. He says the board will most likely make its decision that same day.