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Alabama Gov. Suspends Executions

    Alabama Gov. Suspends Executions
    Last updated: 1 week ago
    Image credit: nbc

    Facts

    • Alabama's Republican Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday suspended executions in the state, asked state AG Steve Marshall to withdraw motions seeking dates for the execution of two inmates, and requested for the state Dept. of Corrections to conduct a thorough review of the state’s execution process. [1]
    • Ivey’s decision comes days after the state abandoned its scheduled execution of Kenneth Eugene Smith, who was reportedly tied to the gurney for four hours while awaiting resolution of a delay over a stay. [2]
    • Despite concluding the disagreement, the state gave up after a further hour, because of time constraints and an inability to find Smith’s vein. Smith's was the third failed execution in the state since 2018. [2]
    • Alabama was similarly unable to execute Alan Eugene Miller in September. The state completed an execution in July, but it was delayed by three hours, in part because of a faulty IV line. [1]
    • According to Dr. Leonidas G. Koniaris — a professor with the Indiana School of Medicine — there are a wide variety of factors that can make accessing veins difficult, including a person's weight, previous drug use, and age. [3]
    • Marshall said, through a spokesperson, that he would comment on this matter at a later date — he didn’t hint at whether he’d agree with Ivey’s request. [4]
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    Spin

    Left narrative

    It’s about time Alabama put a stop to the madness of these botched executions. It's certain that a review of the process is desperately needed to scrutinize these barbaric capital punishment practices, but it won’t mean much if the review isn’t conducted by an independent entity rather than the Dept. of Corrections itself.

    Right narrative

    There’s no problem with how the Dept. of Corrections conducts its executions, it’s the courts that are ruining the process. By interfering in the system in an attempt to protect the lives of convicted criminals, people are undermining justice and obstructing executions. Ivey should be confident that any problems do not lie within the Dept. of Corrections.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 50% chance that capital punishment will be legal in at least 41% of US states in 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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