The death penalty has been scrutinized and challenged since the botched lethal injection of an Oklahoma prisoner in April. Despite the nascent and widespread criticism of the death penalty, several states have moved forward and put prisoners to death since the horrifically bungled execution. Though it appears that many states will never abolish the death penalties, all penal systems are being forced to reevaluate methods of execution, as well as the potential likelihood of executing the innocent.
The criminal justice system has many different faces and can be unpredictable. For individuals who are facing serious convictions involving violent crimes, the death penalty is a terrifying prospect. Our Birmingham criminal defense attorneys understand the significant risks faced by our clients. We also have extensive experience navigating the criminal justice system and will explore every available opportunity to protect the rights of our clients. For individuals who are facing the death penalty or long-term jail sentences, an experienced advocate is necessary to protect your rights in the Alabama criminal justice system.
According to reports, A Missouri inmate was put to death after being convicted for the killing of two women in 1996. The execution marks the fifth this year in Missouri. Another convicted killer was put to death in Georgia this month, the first execution that has taken place since the Oklahoma case raised serious concerns about lethal injection. Florida has also followed through with legal injection execution of a defendant who was charged with the murder of his wife and her 5-year-old son.
In addition to the problem of inhumane treatment of prisoners and violation of the “cruel and unusual punishment” clause of the U.S. Constitution, other advocacy groups are concerned about the secrecy related to the drug shortage crisis. Several states have run out of key lethal injection drugs since European manufacturers realized that the drugs were being used for capital punishment. Risky executions continue to pose a danger because there have been changes in the use of drugs and correctional facilities are shrouded in secrecy.
Alabama is another state that has tried to keep its lethal injection policies and drug sources secret. Currently, Alabama lawmakers have approved a bill that would keep secret the manufacturers and suppliers of lethal injection drugs. Under the bill, the state would also keep the identities of companies and individual suppliers confidential. The bill is an attempt to make sure that the state can continue to obtain lethal injection drugs from its suppliers. Alabama executes its death row inmates by lethal injection unless the inmate requests electrocution.
In the Oklahoma botched execution case, the inmate died from a heart attack 30 minutes after his execution was halted. The state’s executioners stopped the injection when they realized the mix had not been properly administered, causing the inmate extreme pain. According to the autopsy, the executioner administered the IV in the groin, an entry point that is known to be riskier and more painful. It remains to be seen whether the growing disputes surrounding lethal injection will amount to any legislative changes in Alabama or nationwide.