- Associated Press - Thursday, December 17, 2015

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Two brothers who were behind bars for 31 years in connection with a 1983 gang rape have been granted parole.

Al.com reports (http://bit.ly/1O889bh) 57-year-old Kenneth Thornton and 53-year-old Michael Thornton were sent to prison in 1984 for the attack of Wanda Jones Miller. Al.com says Miller is a well-known victim advocate in the state, who has worked in the past as a victims service officer with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. She has spoken publicly to news organizations about her case.

For decades, she protested the Thorntons’ release. But in a parole hearing Wednesday morning, she gave her blessing for them to be set free. The brothers had been scheduled for release in 2024. With the early release, they will have conditions to follow which they wouldn’t otherwise have.

It will likely be January before they are released.

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