Our law is unique in that it requires that our three-member Commission include a victim of violent crime who has suffered serious personal injury or is a member of such victim's immediate family or member of a deceased victim's immediate family if the deceased victim died as a result of the violent crime. This provision insures that each claim is viewed through the eye of a victim and is seen as objectively as possible.
The law also provides that one member be a law enforcement officer with a minimum of 10 years experience in or with a law enforcement agency which has among its primary duties and responsibilities the investigation of violent crimes. Again, a certain perspective lends itself to the decision making process.
Phillip Brown was appointed to the Commission by Governor Robert Bentley
in December 2012. He was born in Detroit Michigan, and was raised in Elba,
Alabama. He is a graduate of Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama
where he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Ministry and Biblical Studies. He is
currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Education Administration. Phillip
Brown is the state chairman for the Alabama Minority Republican Party and is
a steering committee member for the Alabama Republican Party. He is the
minister for Forestdale Church of Christ in Birmingham, Alabama. His work
carries him beyond the pulpit into the classroom of everyday life. He works
as a teacher for the Jefferson County Board of Education and feels that his
calling is to help shape the hearts and minds of young people who face a
world for which they are not fully prepared. He is married to the former
Diane Jones of Birmingham, Alabama. They currently reside in the Birmingham
area with their youngest daughter. They have five older daughters and often
enjoy the company of their four grandchildren.
Sheriff Ray Norris
Sheriff Ray Norris was appointed to the Commission as the Law Enforcement representative October 14, 2011, by Governor Robert Bentley. He was elected Sheriff of Clarke County in 2010 and took office January 18, 2011. Sheriff Norris began his service in law enforcement as a member of the Clarke County Sheriff's Posse. During this time, he progressed from a Reserve Deputy, to Patrol Officer, to Chief of Police, to Deputy Sheriff K9 Officer, to investigator for the Fourth Circuit District Attorney. Sheriff Norris graduated from the Jefferson County Law Enforcement Academy in Birmingham. Because Sheriff Norris was a victim of violent crime when he was shot in 2000, he is committed to assisting other crime victims who have suffered immeasurable loss. He is active in many civic and community organizations in Clarke County and is a member of Liberty Baptist Church of Thomasville. Sheriff Norris and his wife Sharon reside in Fulton, Alabama. They have two daughters, Ali and Rachel.
Miriam Shehane was appointed to the original Commission in 1984 for a four-year term by Governor George Wallace and was re-appointed by Governor Guy Hunt in 1988. She served until 1992 and was re-appointed in July 1993 by Governor Jim Folsom, July 1998 by Governor Fob James and July 2001 by Gov. Siegelman. She is a former banker and has worked as the Victim Service Officer in the District Attorney's Office in Montgomery and as the Supervisor of the Attorney General's Office of Victim Assistance. Mrs. Shehane's dedication to the victims' movement in Alabama has been acknowledged throughout the nation where she has been asked to speak at national conferences on victims' issues. Mrs. Shehane was one of the founding members of VOCAL, Victims of Crime and Leniency, and has served on the Board since its inception in 1982. She found out about trauma of victimization first hand when her 21 year old daughter Quenette, was murdered in 1976 while enrolled at Birmingham Southern. Mrs. Shehane's son, Jon, passed in January 2012. Miriam and her husband, Edward, have one child and seven grandchildren and reside in Clio, Alabama.