Governor Kay Ivey calls for temporary halt to state executions

Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 5:49 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Governor Kay Ivey has called for a halt in state executions until further notice. The moves comes after the state stopped its attempt to execute death row inmate Kenneth Smith. The governor says she wants a ‘top-to-bottom’ review of the execution process.

Attorney General Steve Marshall tells us he’s read the governor’s comments along with comments from the Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner. Marshall said he will have more to say at a late date.

In addition to temporarily halting executions, Gov. Ivey also asked Attorney General Marshall to withdraw two pending motions to execute death row inmates Alan Eugene Miller and James Edward Barber. The governor added in part: “For the sake the victims and their families, we’ve got to get this right. I don’t buy for a second the narrative being pushed by activists that these issues are the fault of the folks at Corrections or anyone in law enforcement. I believe that legal tactics and hijacking the system are at play here.”

“I think it’s a good idea,” said veteran prosecutor Michael Jackson of Hale and Dallas Counties.

I spoke with Hale County District Attorney Jackson and Tuscaloosa Defense Attorney Joel Sogol.

Jackson says he was not aware of the governor’s call for a moratorium on state executions until WBRC informed him Monday morning.

“You don’t want people to somehow survive these lethal injections and live awhile, might as well be a humane society, but we also have to think of the victim. that’s painful for the victims,” said Jackson.

“Well, obviously I agree with it. In general terms I would agree with anything to get away from the death penalty. I have said for years especially in the last 10 years or so, I couldn’t tell you how many times we’ve seen people who were convicted, 30 years later, find out they were not guilty to begin with,” said Sogol.

Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm said today, “I agree with Gov. Ivey that we have to get this right for the victims’ sake. Everything is on the table from our legal strategy with dealing with last-minute appeals, to how we train and prepare, to the order and timing of events on execution day.”

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