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Sunday, December 04, 2022

Death penalty halted after fatal injection in Alabama

Birmingham, Ala. ( Associated Press) – Alabama Gov. Ivey called for a moratorium on the death penalty and ordered a “top-down” overhaul of the state’s capital punishment system Monday after a third execution. Unprecedented fatal failure.

Ivey’s office issued a statement saying it had asked Attorney General Steve Marshall to drop the request for an execution date for the two inmates and asked the Department of Corrections to conduct a full review of the state’s execution process.

Ivey also requested that Marshall not seek additional execution dates for any other inmates until the review is complete.

The move followed the death of Kenneth Eugene Smith on Thursday, which was the second case in the last two months – and the third since 2018 – in which the state failed to execute an inmate. The state completed an execution in July, but only after a three-hour delay, at least partially, due to the same issue with an IV being inserted.

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While denying that prison officials or law enforcement are to blame for the problems, Ivey said the failures are due to “legal maneuvering and criminals abusing the system for their own ends”.

“For the sake of the victims and their families, we have to do this the right way,” he said.

The commissioner, Jon Hamm, said the department is fully committed to the review and is “confident we can get it right.”

“Everything is on the table: from our legal strategy for dealing with last-minute appeals, to the way we train and prepare, to the order and schedule of events on the day of execution, to the staff and equipment involved,” Hamm said. said a statement issued through the governor’s office.

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Mike Lewis, a spokesman for the attorney general, said Marshall “read the governor’s and commissioner’s comments with interest” and “will have more to say on this at a later date.”

The Death Penalty Information Center, an anti-death penalty group with a large database on the death penalty, said that no state other than Alabama has had to halt executions in progress since 2017, when Ohio passed the death penalty for Alva Campbell. Lethal injection was stopped because the workers could not find one. Vein.

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