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Opinion | It’s time to end all executions

It is time to spare the life of Alan Eugene Miller and all the other persons on death row.


The time has come for the State of Alabama to end all executions. Of immediate concern is that of Alan Eugene Miller who is scheduled to be executed by the State of Alabama on September 22, 2022. Governor Ivey has the power to save Mr. Miller’s life. I hope that she will use her power to spare his life and work to end the death penalty in Alabama.

Our leaders must wake up to the fact that there is no humane way to kill another person. Lethal injection was supposed to be that more humane way, but it turns out to be as inhumane as all the other methods. This was made clear once again by the absolutely despicable nature of the recent execution of Mr. Joe N. James.

If you haven’t already done so I invite you to read the account of Mr. James’ execution. It was written by Elizabeth Bruenig and published by The Atlantic on August 14, 2022. I also invite you to read the opinion piece by Josh Moon published by the Alabama Political Reporter on August 22, 2022.

Politicians often condemn “horrible” murders or “grisly” murders. And politicians are right to do so. The taking of a human life is inhumane and should be condemned. It is always horrible. It is always grisly.

If that is true for a life taken on the streets by murder it is also true when the state takes a life. It is inhumane for the State of Alabama to take Mr. Miller’s life (or any others). Morally speaking there is no such thing as the humane taking of a human life no matter the setting or the reason

There can be no doubt that Mr. James was treated in a decidedly inhumane way during his execution. And this is not the first time. Mr. Doyle Hamm was treated with the same disregard for his humanity when the state tried to execute him on February 22, 2018. Over a three-hour period Mr. Hamm was punctured eleven times including punctures to some of his internal organs before the execution was called off. It took him several weeks to recover.

Has it really come to this? Are we really ready to torture those we propose to execute in the name of some twisted sense of justice? Surely our sense of moral decency tells us that this just isn’t right.

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I say it again. There is no humane way to take another human life no matter where that life is taken. It doesn’t matter if the life is taken on the streets or in the death chamber at Holman Correctional Facility. The taking of a human life is in and of itself an inhumane act. Doesn’t what was done to Mr. James and Mr. Hamm and others convince us of that?

This must stop.

It is time to spare the life of Alan Eugene Miller and all the other persons on death row that the State of Alabama intends to someday execute.

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