Alabama Governor Orders Temporary Halt on Executions After Third Failed

Alabama Governor Orders Temporary Halt on Executions After Third Failed Lethal Injection

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey called for a pause on executions and ordered a thorough review of the state’s capital punishment system on Monday. after an unprecedented third failed lethal injection.

The Alabama execution of a man convicted of the 1988 murder-for-hire of a preacher’s wife was called off Thursday just before the midnight deadline. because state officials could not find a suitable vein to inject the lethal drugs.

Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm said prison staff tried for about an hour to connect the two required IV lines to 57-year-old Kenneth Eugene Smith.

“We couldn’t have time to complete that, so we called off the execution,” Hamm said.

It is the second run since September that the state has canceled due to difficulties establishing an IV line with a looming deadline.

In response, Ivey’s office issued a statement saying she had asked Attorney General Steve Marshall to withdraw motions seeking execution dates for two inmates and requested that the Department of Corrections conduct a full review of the execution process. of the state.

Ivey said that “legal and criminal tactics that hijack the system are at play here.”

“For the sake of the victims and their families, we have to get it right,” he said.

Corrections Commissioner John Hamm said the department is fully committed to the review and is “confident that we can get this right.”

Alabama Arise, a nonprofit organization that advocates for the poor, said Marshall should agree to a moratorium and urged lawmakers to “do their part to reduce the injustice of Alabama’s death penalty system.”

The Death Penalty Information Center, an anti-death penalty group with a large database on executions, said no other state except Alabama has had to stop an execution in progress since 2017, when Ohio halted the execution. lethal injection of Alva Campbell because workers couldn’t find a vein

The organization’s executive director, Robert Dunham, said Ivey was right to seek an investigation and pause, but any system reviews must be done by someone other than the state prison system.

“The Alabama Department of Corrections has a history of denying and misrepresenting the truth about its enforcement failures, and cannot be trusted to meaningfully investigate its own incompetence and misconduct,” he said.

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