Press Release (December 22, 2022) – Grassroots organizers are speaking out against Gov. Kay Ivey’s letter asking the Alabama Supreme Court for more time to execute Alabamians after a series of botched executions in recent months.
Alabama’s current law makes it illegal for the Department of Corrections to carry out a death warrant after 11:59 p.m., the day of the execution.
Alabama failed to carry out executions twice in two months – September and November 2022 – and three times since 2018. In July 2022, the state carried out an execution, but after a three-hour delay caused by a similar situation of not being able to start the IV line for the lethal injection.
“The League of Women Voters of Alabama continues to be troubled by the state’s lack of adequate response to the ADOC’s cruel and inhumane treatment of the inmates who are under their care,” said LWV Alabama President Kathy Jones. “Alabama should abolish the death penalty, but until then, the governor and attorney general must not ignore their responsibility to care for and treat all incarcerated individuals, including death row inmates, with dignity and humanity.”
The ACLU of Alabama is calling on Gov. Ivey to remain true to her word and allow for a full and complete review of Alabama’s execution procedures before seeking changes to the state’s execution protocols. The group also encourages the state to shift the review to an independent third party to ensure a transparent and thorough process.
“The governor is asking that the very people who botched multiple executions be given additional time to violate the 8th Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment,” said Alison Mollman, senior counsel at the ACLU of Alabama.
Veronica Johnson, deputy director of the Alabama Justice Initiative agreed.
“My concern is that this is a direct violation of the 8th Amendment,” she said. “The last person even with the courts granting their stays, stayed strapped to a gurney. That creates a huge problem. In most states, there is an extended moratorium on the death penalty and they are not looking to re-implement it.”
Johnson said that Alabama is executing inmates at a higher rate than any other state.
“I think the death penalty should be abolished,” she said. “If not, I don’t think any additional time for the executions should be given.”
Johnson said there have been several times when the victim’s family has requested that the state does not go through with the execution, but the state still goes through with it.
“The state of Alabama is basically asking for an extended amount of time to carry out cruel and unusual punishment,” she said.
Alabama Values Progress is a 501C4 nonpartisan communications hub working to disrupt the cycle of misinformation and raise awareness around Alabama politics.
The ACLU of Alabama works to preserve and protect the civil liberties and civil rights guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution, especially the principles contained in the Bill of Rights. Learn more at aclualabama.org.
Alabama Justice Initiative is a non-profit organization dedicated to dismantling mass incarceration and racial injustices in the South. We are a group of black women who are organizers, directly impacted by the injustices of mass incarceration, and strategists who are committed to building a community of advocates and elevating the voices of Alabamians by building power through social justice advocacy.
The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. (This is the mission statement of all Leagues – local, state, and national.)