MONTGOMERY, AL—Saying that the state had no choice but to take them at their word, Alabama officials on Tuesday announced that thousands of sex offenders would be released after the inmates firmly denied the charges. “If they said they didn’t do it, then what choice do we have but to let them go?” said Alabama Department of Corrections administrator Clay Buxton, adding that penitentiaries statewide would be interviewing prisoners and releasing them immediately upon receiving their sworn declaration of innocence. “We sometimes ask these individuals not just once but multiple times if they’re guilty of sex crimes, and when they say no, often very emphatically, our hands are pretty much tied.” Buxton emphasized, however, that any inmates who admitted that they did commit a sex crime will remain behind bars and continue to carry out their sentences as originally handed down.

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