Following numerous lethal injection failures, the Republican governor of Alabama, Kay Ivey, halted ongoing efforts to schedule execution dates and requested that the Department of Corrections thoroughly assess the state’s capital penalty system.
According to reports, Ivey declared that they must “get this right for the sake of the victims and their families.” She said until she is convinced that they can carry out the lawful penalty, she just cannot, in good conscience, bring another victim’s family to Holman “searching for justice and closure.”
Her request was made after several issues were encountered leading up to Thursday’s scheduled execution of Kenneth Eugene Smith. According to reports, Smith’s attorneys assert that he was confined to his gurney in the death chamber for four hours while the 11th Circuit court and the U.S. Supreme Court deliberated on whether to grant a stay of execution.
The stay was lifted at 10:20 p.m., but the state gave up an hour later, blaming a slow start and difficulties locating Smith’s vein, according to the outlet.
This most recent incomplete execution marked Alabama’s third since 2018, according to Newshour, and its second failure in the last two months. Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, welcomed Ivey for her decision to look into and examine, but he emphasized that an impartial party should conduct the probe.
According to PBS, he declared that the Alabama Department of Corrections “cannot be trusted to effectively examine its incompetence and malfeasance” because of its history of lying and distorting the facts about its execution mishaps.
According to Ivey, she doesn’t accept for a second the narrative being pushed by activists that these difficulties are the responsibility of the individuals at Corrections or anyone in law enforcement.
According to WBRC News, she believes that “criminals hijacking the system and legal tactics are at play” and has pledged to give the Department of Corrections all the support and resources required to “ensure those guilty of perpetrating the most heinous crimes in our society receive their just punishment.”