Alabama's parole board is deciding whether to free a one-time Ku Klux Klansman convicted in a church bombing that killed four black girls more than 50 years ago.

Board members have scheduled a Wednesday hearing for Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr.

The 76-year-old Blanton is the last surviving KKK member convicted of murder in the bombing of Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963.

Opponents are speaking out against Blanton's possible release after just 15 years in prison. The inmate won't be in attendance during the hearing.

Blanton was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2001 for being part of a group of Klansmen who planted a bomb outside the church during the civil rights movement.

Two other former KKK members were convicted of murder and died behind bars.