Governor Kay Ivey has reportedly suspended executions in the state of Alabama. Ivey has requested that the Alabama Department of Corrections forego any additional executions until Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall performs a “top-to-bottom review” of the state’s execution process.
“For the sake of 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, for that matter. I believe that legal tactics and criminals hijacking the system are at play here,” Ivey stated, according to AL.com.
“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.”
Ivey’s recent decision was triggered by a pair of incidents involving state-sponsored executions. On September 22, Alan Eugene Miller survived a scheduled execution after prison staff failed to locate the correct vein needed to inject a lethal substance. Two months later, Kenneth Eugene Smith survived a scheduled execution date after prison staff failed to start an IV.
“Governor Ivey’s call for a suspension of executions is a welcome and huge relief to many of us who see the tragedy that has come out of these horrific failed executions. A society is judged not just by its response to crime and criminality but also by how it treats people who are imprisoned, condemned, and punished,” the Equal Justice Initiative stated.
“What has happened during executions in Alabama is unconscionable, unnecessary, and completely avoidable.”