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Alabama Halts Executions After Two Failed Lethal Injection Attempts

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey halted executions in the state after two failed attempts at lethal injections, calling for a “top-to-bottom” review of the process. The governor asked Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall to withdraw the state’s motions in the Alabama Supreme Court to set executions for Alan Eugene Miller and James Edward Barber, reports Ivey asked Marshall not to seek execution dates for any other inmates until the review is complete. Miller was to be executed Sept. 22, but survived after prison workers couldn’t find a vein to start the intravenous line needed for the three-drug lethal injection cocktail before the death warrant expired at midnight. Kenneth Eugene Smith, who was set to die Nov. 17, also survived after officials couldn’t start an IV.

A federal judge has ordered the state to preserve evidence from both failed execution attempts.“ 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." Three other states have governor imposed moratoriums on executions, but like Alabama have not abolished the death penalty, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. The federal government also instituted a moratorium on executions last year. DPIC Executive Director Robert Dunham praised the governor but called her comments on “legal tactics and criminals hijacking the system” "nonsense.” He also said that while an investigation is necessary, that review needs to be conducted independently.


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