Alabama Pausing Executions After 3rd Failed Lethal Injection

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey sought a pause in executions and ordered a “top-to-bottom” review of the state’s capital punishment system Monday after an unprecedented third failed lethal injection.

Ivey’s office issued a statement saying she had both asked Attorney General Steve Marshall to withdraw motions seeking execution dates for two inmates and requested that the Department of Corrections undertake a full review of the state’s execution process.

Ivey also requested that Marshall not seek additional execution dates for any other death row inmates until the review is complete.

The move followed the uncompleted execution Thursday of Kenneth Eugene Smith, which was the state’s second such instance of being unable to put an inmate to death in the past two months and its third since 2018. The state completed an execution in July, but only after a three-hour delay caused at least partly by the same problem with starting an IV line.

Denying that prison officials or law enforcement are to blame for the problems, Ivey said “legal tactics and criminals hijacking the system are at play here.”

“For the sake of the victims and their families, we’ve got to get this right,” she said.

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