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Gov. Kay Ivey announces moratorium on executions, orders “top-to-bottom review”

The governor asked the attorney general not to seek additional executions for other incarcerated people until after “a top-to-bottom review.”

Gov. Kay Ivey speaks to Prattville and Millbrook Rotarians at the Willis Bradford Branch YMCA in Prattville. Jacob Holmes/APR

Governor Kay Ivey on Monday instructed the Alabama Attorney General’s Office to withdraw the state’s pending motions to set new execution dates for Alan Eugene Miller and James Edward Barber, and asked Attorney General Steve Marshall not to seek additional execution dates for other incarcerated individuals on death row until “a top-to-bottom review” of execution procedures in the state is concluded, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

The withdrawal effectively creates a moratorium on executions in the state of Alabama. 

Ivey’s demand comes only days after the state canceled the scheduled execution of Miller, having spent roughly an hour attempting to locate suitable veins for the lethal injection late on Thursday night, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. This was the second time the state failed to execute Miller by lethal injection this year. 

“For the sake of the victims and their families, we’ve got to get this right,” Ivey said in a statement released on Monday. “I don’t buy for a second the narrative being pushed by activists that these issues are the fault of the folks at Corrections or anyone in law enforcement, for that matter. I believe that legal tactics and criminals hijacking the system are at play here.” 

Ivey ensured that her office would commit “all necessary support and resources” to the Alabama Department of Corrections review. 

ADOC Commissioner John Hamm said that the department is fully committed to the review of the state’s execution process and agreed with the governor that “we have to get this right for the victims’ sake,” in a statement on Monday. 

“Everything is on the table – from our legal strategy in dealing with last-minute appeals, to how we train and prepare, to the order and timing of events on execution day, to the personnel and equipment involved,” Hamm said. 

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A spokesperson for the Alabama Attorney General’s office said that Attorney General Marshall had read comments made by Ivey and Hamm “with interest” and would “have more to say on this” at a later time and date.

John is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can contact him at [email protected] or via Twitter.

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