prisons

Disease and suicide are claiming inmates on Alabama's death row faster than the executioner.

With Alabama's capital punishment mechanism on hold for more than two years because of legal challenges and a shortage of drugs for lethal injections, five of the state's death row inmates have died without ever seeing the inside of the execution chamber.

Prison officials say three inmates have died of natural causes since the state's last execution on July 25, 2013. Two others committed suicide by hanging themselves.

Alabama Prisons To Scan Fingerprints Of Visitors

Aug 3, 2012
Exercise Tradewinds / Flickr

State prison officials say visitors to Alabama prisons will have their fingerprints scanned for security reasons.

The the policy begins this weekend.

Prison officials say the new system will improve security by making sure visitors are who they claim to be, and that the new system will also speed up the process of checking in.

Some are expressing concerns about the new system.

State Sen. Cam Ward, who chairs a joint legislative committee that oversees prisons, said he's troubled by the idea of fingerprinting people who have not broken laws.