Alabama Execution Delays

By: Rayne McKenzie
By: Rayne McKenzie

The Supreme Court is allowing inmates to file last minute challenges to lethal injection. The new law will likely delay executions in Alabama possibly for years.

The new law passed earlier this week will give the Supreme Court the opportunity to take a closer look at the death penalty and further discuss whether or not it is cruel and unusual punishment.

Many proponents for the death penalty are arguing that the law will only delay closure for victims' families.

The United States Supreme Court is again looking at the constitutionality of lethal injection.

Currently it is used as a means of executing those individuals found guilty of committing capital crimes. The decision could delay executions in Alabama and is frustrating many individuals fighting for justice.

Houston/Henry County District Attorney Doug Valeska said, "The Supreme Court has said states have right, but it seems coning to chip away at our right to put those who commit crimes to death."

Alabama has two types of punishment, the electric chair and lethal injection. The most common form is lethal injection, but opponents of the death penalty say it is inhumane.

"We're talking about a method and I can't imagine a more humane way to carry out an execution," said Judge Jerry White.

The district attorney points out those families have their animals euthanized by lethal injection to put them out of their misery and feels it is the least painful way to execute an individual.

Regardless of individuals' stances on the issue of the death penalty, most people just want a stable law in place. The new law has already effected the delayed execution of a man in coffee county who is charged with capital murder for killing a sheriff.

Proponents of the death penalty are frustrated with the delay, citing one challenge to lethal injection that's been pending for two years in federal court. However, there are some people who feel this will give Alabama the time it needs to properly review the death penalty.

The United States Supreme Court has set no provisions for states to keep their court process running smoothly. States will have to wait for them to make a final decision on lethal injection as a form of execution.


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