Lawrence Daniel Woodward denied parole

Published 11:32 am Tuesday, June 13, 2023

The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles met on May 25 and denied parole to Lawrence Daniel Woodward, 47.

The board denied Woodward’s parole petition after hearing testimony from agency representatives who spoke against his release. Opponents of Woodward’s parole included Doris Hancock with Victims of Crime and Leniency (VOCAL), Alabama Attorney General’s Victim Services Officer (VSO) Jackie Fowler, Second Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s VSO Anna Finley, and Assistant District Attorney Pat Jones.

According to District Attorney Charlotte Tesmer, the DA’s office receives notification when someone convicted through their district is up for parole and her office frequently speaks to court officials on behalf of victims and their families.

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“We get a notice and our victim service officer always reaches out to the victim, if it’s a victim crime, to get their opinion [on parole],” Tesmer said. 

Only two people can testify on behalf of the victim, Tesmer explained.

“The VSO can testify and as an elected official, I get to testify if I need to,” Tesmer said.

Woodward is currently serving a 119-year sentence at Fountain Correctional Center. He was convicted in Crenshaw County for sexual abuse in the first degree and sodomy in the second degree on June 4, 2013. Woodward is serving consecutive sentences of 20 years and 99 years, respectively.

Such cases, where a victim was involved, represent those in which Tesmer’s office talks with the family and speaks on behalf of the victim to prevent release. Tesmer may testify or send another representative from her office to advocate for the victims.

“I don’t always go up to the parole hearings because I have other obligations,” Tesmer said. “We try to divide and conquer, so we do go with the victims to speak on their behalf.”

Tesmer explained that it’s important for victims to express concerns at parole hearings, but it is also hard on them. Inmates can petition for parole every five years, and victims often face reliving the trauma each time the perpetrator is up for parole.

“[Victims] have to go back every five years and relive it,” Tesmer said. “We tell people, ‘Someone with our office will go up there with you every time,’ and we do. I think it means a lot to the victims to have somebody in the system with them to give them a voice.

Woodward may petition for parole again in May of 2028. The board heard 27 parole petitions on May 25, granting five, denying 22, and continuing one. The board also heard 15 pardon petitions, granting 10 and denying five.

To view minutes from the meeting, visit