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Ivey calls for moratorium on executions

MONTGOMERY — After two botched execution attempts recently, Gov. Kay Ivey has called for a review of the state’s execution process, and how to ensure the state can deliver justice going forward.

In her request today, Ivey asked Attorney General Steve Marshall to withdraw the state’s two pending motions to set execution dates in the cases of Alan Eugene Miller and James Edward Barber. They are the only two death row inmates with motions currently pending before the Alabama Supreme Court.

“For the sake of the victims and their families, we’ve got to get this right,” Ivey said. “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.”

Meanwhile, Alabama Arise welcomed the governor’s statement.

“All Alabamians deserve equal justice under the law,” said Alabama Arise executive director Robyn Hyden. “Gov. Kay Ivey’s call for a temporary halt to executions is a welcome and necessary move toward ending many of the injustices plaguing Alabama’s capital punishment system.

“The attorney general should agree to the governor’s request. The Department of Corrections should complete the thorough review of the state’s death penalty procedures that Ivey demanded. And the department should pull back the curtains and provide greater public transparency on those procedures.”

The governor also requests Attorney General Steve Marshall not seek additional execution dates for any other death row inmates until the top-to-bottom review is complete.

Ivey said she appreciates the hard work of Marshall’s office to pursue justice in these cases and looks forward to receiving the input of his office, as appropriate, as the review moves forward.

Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm said he welcomes Ivey’s request for a review.

“I agree with Governor Ivey that we have to get this right for the victims’ sake,” Hamm said.  “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.

“The Alabama Department of Corrections is fully committed to this effort and confident that we can get this done right.”

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