Decision Maker

Kay Ivey

  • AL
  • Governor

Kay Ivey is the Governor of Alabama, taking office in April 2017 after her predecessor, Robert Bentley, resigned. Born in 1944 in Camden, Alabama, she built her career as a high school teacher and a bank officer before transitioning to serve in the Alabama public sector. Known as the second woman to hold the position of Alabama's governor, she had previously served as the state's 30th lieutenant governor and as state treasurer. A member of the Republican Party, Ivey has focused on issues related to education, job creation, and infrastructure.

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United States Supreme Court, Montgomery Superior Court, Alabama Governor, Alabama Superior Court, Alabama State Senate, The Pardons and Parole Board of Alabama, C​.​J. Robinson, Kay Ivey
At the age of 15, LaKeith Smith was taken into custody for the murder of his friend A'donte Washington who was killed by the police; an undisputed fact. After being sentenced to 65 years in maximum security, a team of advocates came together to save LaKeith's life from a sentence to die in prison. In 2015, LaKeith Smith and five other young boys broke into two residential homes during the day. At the age of 15, LaKeith was the youngest of the group. In response, the police were called to the scene and gunfire erupted. Amidst the conflict and being frightened by the sounds of gunshots, LaKeith ran away and hid. His friend, A’Donte Washington, 16, was tragically shot and killed by the officer during an alleged shoot-out between the two - a shoot-out that was both incorrectly reported and contradicted by ballistic reports.  Despite his lack of involvement, LaKeith was charged and tried for the murder of A’Donte Washington. At 15, Lakieth Smith was NOT offered juvenile detention. Instead, the DA transferred LaKeith to an adult court and offered him a plea deal of “only” 25 years. LaKeith, being a child with a life ahead of him, declined the plea deal and exercised his constitutional right to a trial. Ultimately, when LaKeith was given his day in court, he was found guilty of all counts by an all-white jury. When it came to his sentencing, the judge subjected LaKeith to a 65-year sentence in prison (30 years for murder, 15 years for burglary, and 10 years each for two theft convictions to run consecutively). Only recently has his sentence been reduced to 55 years and none of the reduction came from an acquittal of murder. LaKeith Smith remains confined in Saint Clair, one of America's most dangerous maximum-security prisons. LaKeith was non-violent, he did not endanger anyone, and he certainly did not fire the bullet that murdered his friend. It is likely that if LaKeith had been tried as a juvenile and/or tried appropriately for the burglary, he would be free today. He has served 7 years of his 55 year sentence.  With a 15% approval rate in 2021, Alabama’s judiciary is setting LaKeith up to remain in prison until he is 70 years old. In a study conducted by the CDC, data shows the average life expectancy for a Black man in America is 72.2 years old. LaKeith Smith has essentially received a life sentence for a crime he never committed. It has been almost two years since the JUSTICE4LAKEITHSMITH campaign started. Since then, a team of advocates have been fighting to save LaKeith from dying in prison. We ask for your help. Please share this petition and support the campaign to help us raise awareness about his story and reach decision-makers that can vacate the murder conviction. Thank you.Read more

Amania GallowayBoston, MA, United States
Kay Ivey, Kay Ivey
    Watch Eboni K. Williams talk about the case here:     Robin "Rocky" Myers is a 62-year-old intellectually disabled black man who was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in 1994 for a crime he did not commit. With a vote of 9-to-3, an overwhelmingly white jury in Decatur, Ala., recommended that Robin be sentenced to Life Without the Possibility of Parole. The elected judge presiding over the case overrode the jury and ordered his execution instead. The United States Supreme Court later found this practice of judicial override to be unconstitutional and struck down Florida's capital sentencing scheme, which allowed override.  Alabama was one of only two states remaining that allowed for such judicial override and it stood alone in giving a judge no guidance in exercising this power. In 2017, the Alabama legislature abolished the practice of judicial override, but failed to make it retroactive. This left over 30 people--including Rocky--on death row, even though a jury had determined they did not belong there. In the last 15 years, shockingly, Alabama is the only state to ever use judicial override to sentence someone to death. To quote U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, “[I]t approaches the most literal sense of the word ‘arbitrary’ to put one to death in the face of a contrary jury determination where it is accepted that the jury had indeed responsibly carried out its task.” In all of Rocky’s post-conviction proceedings, he and his counsel have argued that he should not be executed because he is innocent and intellectually disabled. Additionally, Alabama’s decision to execute Rocky is a direct violation of a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found the execution of an intellectually disabled inmate to be cruel and unusual and, therefore, in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. And because Rocky’s counsel abandoned him in the midst of his post-conviction proceedings, these claims have never been fully addressed by any court. Rocky has no further appellate process available to him, and is subject to receive an execution date at any time. Your signature to this petition is not a vote for his innocence. It is a vote for justice, and one that will hopefully compel the state of Alabama and Gov. Ivey to grant Rocky clemency from an elected judge’s arbitrary decision and allow him to serve the sentence the jury of his peers intended –– Life Without the Possibility of Parole. To learn more about or to keep up with the status of Rocky's case, please visit Follow us on twitter: @Justice4RockyM Instagram: Justice4RockyM TikTok: Justice4RockyM Facebook: Clemency For Rocky MyersRead more

Kacey KeetonMontgomery, AL, United States
Doug Ducey, Kim Reynolds, Laura Kelly, Mark Gordon, Gary R. Herbert, Brad Little, Kay Ivey, Ron DeSantis, Phil Murphy, Ohio Governor, J​.​B. Pritzker, Kristi Noem
Last week, 16-year-old Cornelius Fredericks died after being restrained for throwing a sandwich at Lakeside Academy in Kalamazoo, MI, which is run by the national for-profit company Sequel Youth and Family Services.   Such egregious use of force and tragic loss of life is appalling and is part of a pattern and practice of abuse that spans facilities and warrants immediate shut down. Most notably, Cornelius's case echoes harms at Clarinda Academy in Iowa and Red Rock Canyon School in Utah, which resulted in facility closure. No other kid should suffer, while Sequel profits off of warehousing and restraining youth.   In the United States, profiting off of youth incarceration has become widespread, with almost half of the youth facilities in the country privately operated.  Kids are often shipped across state lines to receive "therapeutic services," yet in reality suffer bullying, restraint, and abuse. We know from nationwide data that youth of color are more likely to be removed from their homes and placed in these types of facilities despite similar rates of offending. We must stop warehousing youth and subjecting youth of color to these harmful conditions. Cornelius's death at a Sequel facility highlights the harms faced by youth at for-profit facilities.  Years of experience with for-profit juvenile and adult facilities shows privatization often leads to a variety of harmful outcomes such as: dangerous conditions, incentives to incarcerate kids longer, and prioritizing profits over public safety. We must prioritize youth over profit.  Cornelius should be with us today.  Help get justice for Cornelius by calling on Governor's to get kids immediately out of the Kalamazoo facility and shut Sequel facilities down.  Sequel can not be trusted to house one more youth.Read more

Alyson ClementsDistrict of Columbia, United States
Kay Ivey, governor of Alabama
The state of Alabama has no law protecting helpless dogs left in cars on hot summer days. I just recently witnessed a tiny puppy suffering while locked in a hot car while the owner went shopping at the mall. It was a 90° day. When it's that hot outside, the temperature on the inside of a car can quickly rise to 170°. Too many dogs die from being left in hot cars every year. Please sign this to help change the law. Read more

heather bowlinLeeds, AL, United States
Kay Ivey, Alabama State House, Anthony Daniels, Mac McCutcheon
The Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act would make it illegal for individuals under the age of 19 to receive life saving gender affirmation treatments in Alabama. Neglecting to adhere to it would result in being charged with a Class C felony. It will also protect therapists and school counselors who out transgender children to their families, which is a gross violation of the confidentiality standards that these people are held to.  The treatments that transgender youth receive is a matter only between them, their family, and their doctors. Puberty blockers, which are entirely reversible and aren't exclusively administered to transgender youth, will be banned under this. Shelnutt, a sponsor of VCCPA, states that he wishes to ban treatments with irreversible consequences. Alongside many other outdated statistics and false claims made by him and other sponsors, it is clear that they lack education on this topic.  The Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act does not protect children nor show them compassion. All it does is bar trans youth from receiving necessary treatments.Read more

Finch BryantAlabama, United States
Kay Ivey
Help get the attention of Governor Kay Ivey in Alabama! Hopefully she can help this man get released from this extremely harsh prison sentence. Willie Simmons, a 62-year man from Alabama, has been behind bars for the last 38 years for stealing $9. He was convicted of 1st-degree robbery and was sentenced to life without parole in 1982 due to Alabama’s Habitual Offender law. He already had 3 non violent prior convictions. Simmons, an Army veteran who became addicted to drugs while assigned overseas, was 25-years old when the state “said he should die in prison.” Since 2005, he hasn’t had a visitor after his sister passed away. Now at the age of 62, he has been incarcerated in Holman Correctional Facility in Escambia County, Alabama which is considered one of the “most violent prisons in the country.” Despite that, he is studying for his GED, trying to “stay away from the wild bunch.” Simmons is not denying the crime he committed that landed him in prison for life. He admitted he was “high on drugs” when he wrestled a man to the ground and stole his wallet that contained $9, as he said he was “trying to get a quick fix.” Simmons recalled his trial which lasted about 25 minutes. He said his appointed attorney didn’t call on any witness and the prosecutors didn’t offer a plea deal although his prior offenses were non-violent. “They kept saying we’ll do our best to keep you off the streets for good,” he said. Over the years, he has filed for several appeals even without an attorney and those were all denied. He said, “In a place like this, it can feel like you’re standing all alone. I ain’t got nobody on the outside to call and talk to. Sometimes I feel like I’m lost in outer space.” Lawmakers in 2014 have since removed the last avenue of appeal for those serving life without parole under the habitual offender law like Simmons. However, Simmons is hoping his cruel sentence could be reconsidered. “Yes, I’ve been hoping and praying on it,” he said. “I ain’t giving up.” Moreover, Simmons still dreams someday he will be free and live a normal life. “My hope is to get out of here, settle down with a woman and do God’s will,” he said. “I’d like to tell people about how bad drugs are.”Read more

Victoria JohnsonGoldsboro, NC, United States
NAACP, Vivian Figures, DeMarcus Cousins, Frederick D. Richardson, meek mill, Kay Ivey
What’s right is right...The laws are changing everyday but only for some of us. I just want the world to know that good people are not perfect they do sometimes fall short but it does not make them bad. There are so many unjust cases that have been closed without a second thought and it saddens me. When sentencing, the person should be examined and not just considering what’s on documentation, because it is not necessarily who they are. How could someone paint a picture without ever seeing the image? Ezlinglm Demetrius Earl 30 years of age; a son, brother, loving father, family man and a well appreciated veteran was sentenced to life in an Alabama state prison on marijuana charges. As, we all know marijuana is now a growing business, that is now legal in numerous of states. It is a growing pain to know that there are people given this unruly sentencing all because of their location. It is almost unbelievable but it is true, this is going on now this sentence was given late 2018. The justice system was supposedly built on fairness but honestly that’s something I can’t agree to because I haven’t seen much of that...there are murderers, rapists and maybe even terrorists that are given lesser sentences. My hopes are to justify the unjust, speak for those that are unable, reveal true images of those wrongfully painted, and my ultimate goal is to help place loved ones back with their families. Instead of in prisons like animals for semi-legal crimes. Clemency is clearly needed here. Please look into this case to release Ezlinglm D. Earl.Read more

Wilonda HarriesMobile, AL, United States
Kay Ivey, Doug Jones, Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles
We are writing this in regards of Ebra Hayes, in 1996   She was 19 years old and was charged with “complicity to murder” with a sentence of life without parole. In her initial statement, Ebra says men/boys were in a car trying to run her off the road and throwing “fire bombs” at her car and threatening her and her boyfriend. She then returned back to her parents home with her boyfriend who said he wanted to go to talk to someone about a stereo they wanted to buy. Ebra then took her boyfriend to meet said person and that’s when she heard shots and was told to “go faster”. At the time she did not know her boyfriend had the gun or if he was the one who shot it. She did not stop the car in fear of what would happen to her. The state charging her with “complicity of murder” MUST show criminal intent. She was denied youthful offender when she did not have and prior charges. She was denied a fair trial as African American jurors were struck from the jury without stating a reason to do so, in violation of the Batson decision in the Batson vs Kentucky case. A witness (that was in the car) called in Ebra’s defense testified that he didn’t see nor hear the boyfriend say he had a gun or wanted to kill anyone. The boyfriend also in his case said “I did not try to kill anyone I just wanted to scare them.” The facts in this case does not match up with the charges given. She has been in Tutwiler Women’s Prison for 24 years and has been a model prisoner, not getting any reprimands. We are asking when is enough time served for a crime you did NOT commit or knew was going to happen. She has claimed her innocence the whole 24 years. Read more

Via HayesDothan, AL, United States
Alabama Lawmakers, Kay Ivey
In Honor of Graham Law Hendrix- our son passed from SMA on 1/16/21. Had SMA been on the newborn screening in our state his life could have been very different.  Our beautiful son was born 10/26/2020 a completely normal healthy baby, by one month of life he had a slight cold and started having mobility issues in his limbs. We spent weeks at the children’s hospital in our state trying to figure out what was wrong with our son, when in reality, if SMA had been on the newborn screening in our state we would have already known. After almost 3 weeks of testing and our son getting sicker, we found out our son had SMA Type 1, by this point he was very sick. Three weeks later he was treated with a $2 million gene therapy drug called Zolgensma, which is a treatment for SMA, not a cure. There is no cure. We hoped for improvement and for a chance to give our son the best life possible, he was the happiest baby. While we did see some movement come back to his limbs a few weeks after his treatment, on January 15th Graham stopped breathing in his car seat when SMA reared it’s ugly head. We did everything to save him but the Lord had already called our baby home. Had we known our child had SMA before he got sick, we could have treated him before he showed symptoms and he could have lived a very different life.  SMA(Spinal Muscular Atrophy) is a progressive, genetic neurodegenerative disease that affects the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord and impacts the muscles used for activities such as breathing, eating, crawling, and walking. It is the number one genetic cause of death for infants. Currently, Alabama is one of ONLY 14 states left that DOES NOT test for SMA on the newborn screening. Once this disease starts progressing, the damage to the motor neurons is irreversible. There are currently 3 treatments for SMA but NO CURE. Which is why early detection is so important. SMA affects approximately 1 in 11,000 births in the U.S., and about 1 in every 50 Americans is a genetic carrier. SMA can affect any race or gender. There are four primary types of SMA—1, 2, 3, and 4—based on the age that symptoms begin and highest physical milestone achieved. We have an incredible SMA team at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham. Some states don’t have this. Some families drive to other states for treatment. Alabama has the resources to help families and save these babies lives!!! Help us get our lawmakers and Governor's attention by signing this petition!Read more

Lauren WenzlerDecatur, AL, United States
Kay Ivey, Donald Trump
Jay Maynor has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for killing his daughter's rapist. Jay is not a threat to society.  He is a good man.  We would like to see him set free or at minimum a lesser sentence.   An Alabama man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for murdering his daughter’s sexual abuser.Jay Maynor, 43, pleaded guilty to the shooting death of Raymond Earl Brooks, 59, two years ago in Cullman, Alabama, about 50 miles north of Birmingham.Thirteen years earlier, Brooks had pleaded guilty to sexually abusing Maynor’s 8-year-old daughter, who was also Brooks’ adopted granddaughter.Brooks served 27 months for that crime before he was released on parole. He was a registered sex offender.Maynor’s daughter, who is now 24 and the mother of three, said her dad snapped that day in 2014 after she argued with him over Brooks, reported.Her dad got on his motorcycle and drove to a convenience store, where he fired several rounds inside while trying to hit a man who had been dating his stepdaughter and allegedly had been abusing the woman, she said.Maynor didn’t hit anyone, and took off for Brooks’ home, where he shot the man twice, killing him as he stood in his front yard, authorities said.Maynor’s daughter said he pleaded guilty so she wouldn’t have to testify about being abused by Brooks over several years, until she finally told her step mother, Sandy about it at age 8.“My father was protecting me, like a father should do,” she told the news site. “He is an amazing father, actually the best. He loves us so much.”Her father also pleaded guilty to attempted murder in the store shooting and was sentenced to 20 years, to be served concurrently with his murder sentence.The daughter says her father’s punishment is too harsh.“I’m going through hell,” she said.  Read more

Amy ECullman, AL, United States