Alabama Attorney General Requests Same-Day Execution Governor Reinstates Lethal Injection End-shutdown
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall “immediately” filed a motion to execute a prisoner after Gov. Kay Ivey lifted a state moratorium on the death penalty.
Ivey, a Republican, announced Friday that capital punishment would return to the state just three months after it was suspended for what she called a “top to bottom” review conducted by the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC). The death penalty was suspended after a series of failed lethal injections.
In the most recent incident, in November, Kenneth Eugene Smith, a convicted hitman and death row inmate, was pushed and prodded to hours before prison officials were forced to call off the execution after it passed midnight. Alan Miller’s botched execution was called off two months earlier, also due to an IV not being properly placed.
Ivey said it was “time to resume our duty to carry out legal death sentences” in a letter to Marshall, who is also a Republican, on Friday. according to the Associated Press.
“Too many Alabama families have waited too long, often decades, to obtain justice for the loss of a loved one and to obtain closure for themselves,” Ivey wrote. “This brief pause in executions was necessary to make sure that we can deliver that justice and that closure successfully.”
Soon after, Marshall said in a statements that he was “pleased” with the decision, while expressing his confidence that “the farce of justice that occurred in November of last year will not be repeated.”
Marshall called for executions to resume quickly, beginning with death row inmate James Barber, who was sentenced to death for murdering 75-year-old Dorothy Epps in 2002.
“As I have made clear, my office and I remain fully committed to and capable of carrying out capital punishment in Alabama,” Marshall said in the statement, which was shared on Twitter.
“My office immediately filed a motion with the Alabama Supreme Court today to set an execution date for death row inmate James Barber,” he continued. “And we will be seeking death sentences for other murderers before long.”
In a statement also shared on Twitter, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Alabama called the decision to end the moratorium a “troubling” development that “proves our worst concerns,” arguing that ADOC should not have led the revision.
ACLU of Alabama saying that the “expedited end to the investigation” came after months of “ignored pleas from lawyers, advocates, clergy and others for an external and independent review.”
“The governor refused to follow the example of her Republican peers in other states and ordered an independent review,” the group said. wrote. “We have argued that it is unreasonable to believe that an agency responsible for executing botched executions could thoroughly investigate itself and suggest remedies to correct its own behavior.”
“Today’s announcement that the ADOC investigation is complete is worrying and demonstrates our worst concerns,” the group said. aggregate. “It is irresponsible to believe that state-sponsored torture of individuals would end if given more time and practice.”
End-shutdown week has reached out to Ivey’s office and the ACLU of Alabama for comment.