Senate Judiciary Committee approves execution by nitrogen asphyxiation

February 16, 2018

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The Senate Judiciary Committee gave a favorable report to a bill Wednesday that would allow death row inmates to select death by nitrogen hypoxia as one of the three approved death penalty methods used by the state of Alabama.

Senate Bill 272 is sponsored by state Sen. Trip Pittman, R-Montrose.

“We have decided in this state that the death penalty is appropriate in Alabama for certain heinous offenses,” Pittman said. “We had a prisoner who wanted death by firing squad a couple of years ago, and I brought a bill to let him do that; but after looking into it, firing squad is not a humane way of killing people. With lethal injection we have had some problems with the availability of certain cocktails. Execution by nitrogen hypoxia has been approved by only one other state.”

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Opinion | Call lethal injection the vile torture it is

January 9, 2018

By Stephen Cooper
Contributed

In a New Year’s Eve display of liberal newspaper death penalty abolition harmony – buoyed by the release of the Death Penalty Information Center’s (DPIC) annual report evidencing another year in the long-observable trend of capital punishment’s disuse and disfavor in America – both the Washington Post and New York Times’ editorial boards published opinion pieces arguing for an end to what the Times called a “cruel and pointless” practice; one that is “savage, racially biased, arbitrary,” and which “the developed world agreed to reject…long ago.”

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Alabama executes third inmate this year

October 20, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, the state of Alabama executed Torrey McNabb in Holman prison in Atmore, Alabama, by lethal injection.

McNabb was convicted in the 1997 murder of Montgomery police officer Anderson Gordon.

After being notified that McNabb’s sentence had been carried out, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement:

“Though Mr. McNabb did not formally ask for clemency, I gave his case, and his sentence, the deepest level of consideration possible,” Ivey said. “Whenever an individual in Alabama is scheduled to be executed, I take seriously my responsibility to weigh the circumstances of the case, mitigating and aggravating factors and the need to ensure justice is served.”

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Death Row inmate Thomas Arthur executed after seven previous attempts

May 26, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — He escaped death seven times, but he didn’t escape the eighth. The Alabama Department of Corrections executed death row inmate, Thomas “Tommy” Arthur, late Thursday night after several hours of delays.

Arthur was put to death by lethal injection at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama, using a controversial three-drug cocktail. He had been convicted for the 1982 murder-for-hire of North Alabama businessman, Troy Wicker.

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Senate Judiciary Committee approves bill allowing death penalty by nitrogen asphyxiation

April 6, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, April 5, 2017, the Senate Judiciary Committee gave a favorable report to Senate Bill 12 that would add nitrogen asphyxiation to the death penalty manner choices for condemned felons. SB12 is sponsored by Senator Trip Pittman (R-Montrose).

Senator Pittman told the Committee that he wanted to provide condemned individuals more choices in how they meet their end.

Pittman said that currently the only two choices are death by lethal injection or death in the electric chair. Sen. Pittman said that one prisoner asked him to allow him to die in front of a firing squad. Sen. Pittman said that he brought that bill. “I had a lot of people volunteer to be a member of that squad.” But Pittman said that there were issues that came up that resulted in having to remove the firing squad as an option.
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Alabama’s Last Execution Was An Atrocity

October 28, 2016

By Stephen Cooper
Alabama Political Reporter

The last time Alabama played God, executing death row inmate Christopher Brooks by lethal injection on January 21, 2016, The Montgomery Advertiser and al.com published a column of mine in which I wrote:

“Initial reports out of Alabama are that the execution went as ‘smoothly’ as killing a reasonably healthy 43-year-old man can go. In any event, it appears there was no visible evidence Brooks suffered bodily distress as the lethal drugs were administered, prompting Alabama Prison Commissioner Jeff Dunn to say that the execution with the controversial sedative drug midazolam ‘went exactly as planned[.]” (See Executions are hardly an exact science, on February 8, 2016, and Courts denied phone to attorneys of man condemned to death, on February 9, 2016).

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