MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — The state of Alabama will move forward with executing death row inmates following a procedure review ordered by Governor Ivey last November.
The move was announced Friday by Gov. Ivey’s office after Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm said a “top-to-bottom” review of Alabama’s execution process was completed.
In a letter addressed to Gov. Ivey, Hamm stated “I am confident that the Department is as prepared as possible to resume carrying out executions consistent with the mandates of the Constitution.”
Gov. Ivey initially requested an effective moratorium on state executions following the attempted execution of Kenneth Eugene Smith.
“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 said in a statement on November 21, 2022.
During the procedure review, Gov. Ivey requested a change from the Alabama Supreme Court that would extend execution warrants deadlines. On January 13, 2023, the Alabama Supreme Court changed court rules to give Alabama’s governor the power to decide how long the state’s executioners can attempt to end an inmate’s life.
At the time of the rule change, a representative of Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty said the change would likely lead to extended periods of torture.
Addressing the rule change in his letter to Gov. Ivey, Hamm wrote “This change will make it harder for inmates to ‘run out the clock’ with last-minute appeals and requests for stays of execution.”
Hamm also wrote the ADOC added to its pool of available medical personnel for executions and “ordered and obtained new equipment that is now available for use in future executions.”
The department of corrections did not elaborate on what, precisely, the new equipment is.
Upon receiving Hamm’s letter, Gov. Ivey requested Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall to “please ask the Supreme Court to issue an execution warrant for an eligible death row inmate” whenever he deems it appropriate.
Read Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm and Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s statements in full below.