Attorneys representing the adult son of State Sen. Vivian Figures (D-Mobile) are asking for his eight years of probation to be cut in half, saying Akil Figures has kept an “unblemished” record and “regained the trust and confidence of his family.”
In 2006, he pleaded guilty to a single charge of “possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine” after federal prosecutors agreed to a deal dropping a similar charge related to the distribution of ecstasy.
In addition to five years in prison, Figures was sentenced to eight years of probation. Since being released from prison in October 2011, he has been subject to several conditions including regular drug testing.
A motion filed Feb. 1 asks the court to end Figures supervised release early despite “two technical infractions” on his record.
“In the more than four years on [probation], Figures was cited for two technical infractions, one for traveling out of the district without prior authorization, and the other for sending a text message after being ordered to refrain from any further communication with a woman with whom he had a relationship,” attorney Carlos Williams wrote.
The recent filing marks the third time Figures’ attorneys have tried to have his supervised release vacated ahead of schedule. The previous attempts — filed in 2008 and 2015 — were both denied by Judge Charles R. Butler.
In the pending motion, Williams claims those attempts “failed to fully describe [Figures’] long road to redemption.” He went on to say his client had undergone a transformation that “speaks volumes.”
Court files also include a written statement from the defendant, describing in his own words the difficulties he faced after losing his father, former Senate Pro Tem Michael Figures, who died in surgery after suffering an aneurysm when his son was only 14 years old.
“I do strongly believe, though, that if my father hadn’t passed when I was 14 things would have turned out a whole lot different for me. Yet, that is still no excuse,” the motion reads. “He taught me very well before he passed; furthermore, he left me with a great mother, an extraordinary family and supporting cast.”
Speaking of his arrest at age 23, Figures said, “at the end of the day, I was just very rebellious.”
Similar to previous motions to end Figures’ supervised release, Williams writes that changes in sentencing guidelines after 2006 would mean a significantly reduced punishment for Figures if he was were found guilty of the same crime today.
“While defense counsel understands that these amendments operate only to reduce defendant’s sentence of imprisonment, not supervised release time, it is noteworthy that Mr. Figures has already served more than twice the actual penalty a person convicted of the same crime, and under the same circumstances, would serve today,” the motion reads.
Court records indicate the U.S. Attorney’s office in Mobile has received a copy of the latest motion, and while it has yet to respond, the office has previously argued against ending Figures’ probation ahead of schedule. If left unchanged, Figures would remain under supervised release until 2019.
In conclusion, Williams wrote Figures has maintained an “exceptional record” over the past four years, despite the two technical infractions he was cited for.
“Figures has demonstrated for more than half of the eight-year [probation] that he has adjusted exceptionally well upon returning to his community,” the motion concludes. “First, he regained the trust and confidence of his family, in particular, his mother. He has been consistently employed, drug-free and has not committed any new crimes.”
Sen. Figures could immediately be reached for comment on this story.