Alabama prison lifer gets pardon after turnaround

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Mack Kirby was a habitual offender serving life in prison without parole until the Alabama Supreme Court issued a landmark decision that gave him a second chance in 2004.

Since then, the 67-year-old has turned around his life so much the state parole board gave him a pardon Wednesday. Parole board member Robert Longshore said everyone who sees Kirby's turnaround
is impressed.

Kirby was sentenced to prison for life without parole under Alabama's habitual offender law for trafficking in marijuana. His case resulted in a 2004 decision by the Alabama Supreme Court that allowed judges to reconsider those sentences for nonviolent offenders.

Kirby got his sentence changed and then got a parole. He now operates small businesses in Pisgah.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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