lethal injection

Alabama death row inmate Ronald Bert Smith was executed last night for the 1994 killing of a Huntsville man. But the way he died may lend additional support to those attempting to outlaw the use of the sedative midazolam in a three-drug lethal injection cocktail. During the 34-minute execution last night at Holman Correctional Facility, Smith reportedly coughed and heaved for nearly 15 minutes. Smith’s attorneys had appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to block the execution, arguing he was...

A federal judge may allow Alabama to change its lethal injection method for an inmate's execution scheduled for next month. Al.com reports U.S. District Court Judge Keith Watkins gave Ronald Bert Smith's attorneys until noon on Nov. 16 to submit, in writing, why the state should not execute Smith using "a large initial dose of midazolam, followed by continuous infusion" of the sedative. Smith and other death row inmates have been challenging the use of midazolam in Alabama's three-drug lethal...

Supreme Court
Equal Justice Initiative

Alabama death row inmate Tommy Arthur is still alive this morning, thanks to a last-minute stay of execution from the United States Supreme Court. Arthur was scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection yesterday evening. The court initially ordered his execution delayed while they reviewed his case. Then late last night, the Supreme Court stopped Arthur’s execution altogether as the justices consider whether to take up his appeals. Justices say Arthur’s execution stay will expire if they...

The state of Alabama is preparing to execute a death row inmate who was convicted in the 1982 killing of a man in a murder-for-hire arrangement. Tommy Arthur is scheduled to receive a lethal injection at 6 p.m. this evening. Arthur, now 74, was convicted of murdering Troy Wicker in 1982 as the man slept inside his Muscle Shoals home. Investigators said Arthur was having an affair with Wicker's wife. She later testified that she promised him $10,000 to kill her husband. The Alabama Supreme...

Alabama death row
EJI

The state of Alabama is scheduled to execute its first inmate in more than two years, and defense attorneys want to monitor the proceedings a little more closely. Lawyers representing several Alabama death row inmates have asked a federal judge to let them view preparations for tonight’s execution of Christopher Brooks. Last week, the attorneys filed a motion asking that one of them be allowed to view the insertion of the intravenous line before Brooks is put to death by lethal injection....

A federal appeals court has declined to stop an upcoming execution in Alabama. Yesterday, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied an emergency stay sought by inmate Christopher Eugene Brooks. Brooks is scheduled to be put to death tomorrow for the 1992 rape and murder of Jo Deann Campbell. Brooks’s attorney had asked the court to stay the execution until a federal judge reviews the state's new lethal injection drug combination. A hearing on the constitutionality of those drugs is...

A federal judge has denied an Alabama death row inmate's emergency motion for a stay of execution. Chief U.S. District Judge William Keith Watkins issued an order denying Christopher Brooks' request yesterday. Brooks is scheduled to be put to death Jan. 21 for the rape and bludgeoning death of Deann Campbell more than 20 years ago. The execution would be Alabama's first in more than two years. Brooks has argued the execution should not be carried out until a court decides the...

Alabama death row
EJI

The Alabama Supreme Court has refused to stop an execution scheduled for next month. In a unanimous decision yesterday, justices refused inmate Christopher Brooks' request to stop his execution. A federal judge is expected to rule soon on Brooks' request for a stay. Brooks is scheduled to be put to death Jan. 21 for the rape and murder of Deann Campbell more than 20 years ago. The execution would be Alabama's first in more than two years. However, Brooks has argued the execution should not be...

Alabama death row inmates are seeking alternative methods for execution. APR student reporter Parker Branton reports on their latest arguments. Death row inmate Tommy Arthur says he’d rather face a firing squad rather than undergo lethal injection in Alabama. He and Anthony Boyd are pleading their case to change their method of execution. They join five other death row inmates who have filed lawsuits claiming the state’s current three-drug lethal injection protocol for executions as cruel and...

A federal judge says the state of Alabama may not use a large dose of a sedative to execute five death row inmates. U.S. District Judge William Keith Watkins issued an order Thursday denying the state's requests to dismiss lawsuits from five inmates who have challenged Alabama three-drug lethal injection procedure. The inmates were asked to present alternative means of execution and among other things suggested single doses of midazolam in amended complaints. The Alabama Attorney General's...

NASA Auburn
Auburn University

Auburn University has entered into a Space Act Agreement with NASA to explore and advance the applications of additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing. The act was signed yesterday by Dr. John Mason, Auburn's vice president for research and economic development, along with Patrick Scheuermann, director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. The agreement will allow Auburn students to engage in NASA's missions and opportunities, investigate and develop technologies...

Alabama wants to move forward with executions using lethal injection. The move comes following the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the use of a drug that Alabama plans to begin using in capitol punishment. The state attorney general's office asked a federal judge in U.S. District Court Monday to dismiss a death row inmate's lawsuit. Tommy Arthur claims the sedative midazolam is ineffective. A lawyer for Arthur says the case should still go to trial. Attorney Suhana S. Han says Oklahoma's lethal...

The U.S. Supreme Court passed a sweeping ruling Friday effectively legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, but not everyone has been able to benefit. APR’s Alex AuBuchon has more on one Tuscaloosa couple’s struggle to get married. “Hi. We’d like to request a marriage license…” We met Jennifer Kenney and Hali Felt on Friday. The Tuscaloosa couple wanted to join the thousands of happy couples marrying after the Supreme Court’s ruling, but they were told they’d have to wait. When they returned...

criminal-defense-network.com

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers are trying to shield the identities of companies that provide the state with execution drugs, but even without it, the Alabama Department of Corrections releases little information about the process of putting a person the death. The prison system declined to release the suppliers and other information about the process of execution. The Associated Press requested information about drug purchases, as well as the execution protocol, including the...

Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty

Attorneys for an Alabama death row inmate have filed a federal lawsuit arguing that the state's new lethal injection drug combination has never been tried on any prisoner in the United States and amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. Attorneys for Christopher Lee Price filed the suit Wednesday night. It asks a federal judge to block the state from using the new, three-drug combination. The state prison system developed the combination after running out of one of the drugs in its old...

Alabama State House
Trance Mist / Flickr

Alabama lawmakers are getting close to approving a bill that would keep secret the identities of manufacturers and suppliers of lethal injection drugs used in state executions. The Senate Health Committee approved the legislation Wednesday in a 7-0 vote. It now moves to the Alabama Senate floor. Rep. Lynn Greer, a Rogersville Republican, says states are struggling to get execution drugs because pharmacies and companies fear lawsuits and backlash from death penalty opponents. Lawyers in death...

Alabama lawmakers are seeking to keep secret the manufacturers and suppliers of the drugs used in lethal injection executions. The House Judiciary Committee approved the bill Tuesday. The bill would require the state to keep the identities of people and companies who provide the drugs to the state confidential. Rogersville Republican Lynn Greer says the state needs to make sure it can continue to obtain the lethal injection drugs. Alabama executes Death Row inmates by lethal injection unless...