Parole denied for Dubose
Published 12:16 am Wednesday, November 3, 2004
By By Michele Gerlach
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.
"This is great," Stephanie King's mother, Sallie King, said after the ruling.
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."
"He has already benefitted from one mistake made by the State of Alabama," Troy King said. "Let's not compound that mistake by releasing him. He is exactly where he pleaded to be."
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."
"In a state that exercises the death penalty, it is an act of mercy that (Dubose) retains his life," Raulerson said. "It is an act of justice that he be left behind bars.
"I pray that God blesses Mr. Dubose, causing him to experience redemption, reconciliation and forgiveness," he said. "But this should take place behind bars."
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.
"It is an everyday battle to recall the good memories of Stephanie," she said.
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."
"That should be added to the number of years of life without her and should be multiplied by all those whose lives were affected by her" to determine the length of Dubose's life sentence, she said. "When you make your decision, please consider all of us."
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.
"This man kidnapped my 16-year-old daughter. He raped, sodomized and strangled her," she said. "The pain and torture my child endured the last hours of her life are too painful to believe."
Referring to when Dubose's death sentence was overturned, Mrs. King said, "He's had his second chance.
"He took away every right my child had," she said. "I'm asking you to deny his right to parole."