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ADOC ‘prepared as possible’ to resume executions

The Alabama Department of Corrections is “prepared as possible” to resume executions, the agency announced Friday. ADOC finished its review of the state’s execution process on an order from Gov. Kay Ivey late last year.

Upon receiving word from Hamm, Ivey asked Attorney General Steve Marshall to ask the Supreme Court to issue an execution warrant for an eligible death row inmate whenever he deems appropriate.

The governor called for a “top-to-bottom” review after executions were called off at the last minute, mostly due to legal appeals and the failure of connecting IV lines to the inmates.

ADOC Commissioner John Hamm informed the governor’s office in a letter that the department conducted an “in-depth review of our execution process,” and said he’s “confident that the Department is as prepared as possible to resume carrying out executions consistent with the mandates of the Constitution.”

Hamm said he believes a changed rule by the Alabama Supreme Court has already solved one of the issues in the execution procedure.

“At your request, the Supreme Court of Alabama changed its rule for scheduling executions. Before the amendment to Rule 8(d)(1) of the Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure, the Supreme Court of Alabama would issue a single-day execution warrant that would expire at midnight,” Hamm said. “As you know, this caused unnecessary deadline pressure for Department personnel as courts issued orders late into the night in response to death-row inmates’ last-minute legal challenges.

“Now, under the new rule, the Court will issue an order permitting you to set a ‘time frame’ for the execution to occur. This change will make it harder for inmates to ‘run out the clock’ with last-minute appeals and requests for stays of execution.”

The commissioner said ADOC is adding to “its pool of available medical personnel for executions,” while also having “ordered and obtained new equipment that is now available for use in future executions.”

He said the agency has “conducted multiple rehearsals of our execution process in recent months to ensure that our staff members are well-trained and prepared to perform their duties during the execution process.”

Ivey’s letter to Marshall instructed him to “resume our duty of carrying out lawful death sentences.”

The governor concluded that while the pause was “necessary,” it’s time for it to end.

“Whenever you deem appropriate, please ask the Supreme Court to issue an execution warrant for an eligible death row inmate,” she wrote.

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” weekdays 9-11 a.m. on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

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