Posted 5/24/23

Convicted former Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely had his appeal petition dismissed after he challenged the status of the retired judge who presided over his trial and sentencing.

The seven-page ruling from Judge Tim Jolley found Blakely's petition was without merit.

Blakely's Rule 32 Appeal centered on the fact that retired Judge Pamela Baschab's status with the state bar association, saying she did not have an active law license at the time of trial in July 2021.

The court ruling on that petition found that Judge Baschab had at a minimum de facto authority to preside over the trial because the court held Alabama law permits the Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court to freely appoint a retired supernumerary judge, irrespective of whether that judge maintains an active license to practice law with the State Bar.

The ruling said, in part…This court sees nothing in the Constitution that requires the Chief Justice to limit his pool of potential appointees to judges with active licenses.

Blakely is serving a three-year prison sentence for theft at the Franklin County Jail.