Gov. Kay Ivey announced Monday she is requesting a top-to-bottom review of the state’s execution process.
Additionally, the governor has asked Attorney General Steve Marshall to withdraw the state’s pending motions before the Alabama Supreme Court to set execution dates for convicted murderers Alan Eugene Miller and James Edward Barber.
Ivey has also requested Marshall not seek additional execution dates until the review is completed.
The governor’s request for a review of the state’s execution protocol comes after Alabama unsuccessfully attempted to administer the sentences of two death row inmates within the past three months.
Miller, whose execution was scheduled for Sept. 22, avoided his punishment due to the state’s inability to access his veins. Kenneth Eugene Smith also avoided his execution last week due to officials’ failure to locate a suitable vein.
According to the governor’s office, Ivey is working alongside Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm to ensure the state is successful in future execution efforts.
In announcing the state’s temporary pause of executions, Ivey took exception to the “legal tactics” employed by those on death row that have served to disrupt recent death penalty proceedings.
“For the sake of the victims and their families, we’ve got to get this right,” said Ivey. “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, for that matter. I believe that legal tactics and criminals hijacking the system are at play here.
“I will commit all necessary support and resources to the Department to ensure those guilty of perpetrating the most heinous crimes in our society receive their just punishment. I simply cannot, in good conscience, bring another victim’s family to Holman looking for justice and closure, until I am confident that we can carry out the legal sentence.”
According to Hamm, the governor’s review is needed in order “to get this right for the victims’ sake.”
“Everything is on the table – from our legal strategy in dealing with last minute appeals, to how we train and prepare, to the order and timing of events on execution day, to the personnel and equipment involved,” said Hamm. “The Alabama Department of Corrections is fully committed to this effort and confident that we can get this done right.”
Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL