Sweet Home Politics

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017   |   Español

Author Archives: Michael Emery

  1. Two Charts Explain Why Alabama Wants to Execute People Faster

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    As I reported yesterday, Attorney General Luther Strange wants to speed up Alabama’s execution process. Strange’s chief argument is that this would make it easier to get around to the actual business of executing the condemned. Kill more people in less time. The thing that’s lost in all of this, though, is that in Alabama, you’re more likely to be sentenced to death than anywhere else in the country.

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    Maybe Strange wants to expedite the execution of inmates due to Alabama having the highest death row population per capita in the country.

    Essentially, what these charts show is that in Alabama, we really like sentencing people to death. As you read this, there are 111 men and women sitting on death row in Alabama. The average inmate is 26 years old and will spend an average of 19 years on death row before being executed. And since last year we only managed to execute one person, it seems that the Attorney General feels we have some catching up to do.

    I know that overcrowding is an issue in Alabama prisons — a topic for another column — but I would put forward that not sentencing so many people to die would be a much better alternative. It would also be cheaper and avoid the risk of executing innocent men and women.

    After all, isn’t a core principle of Strange’s Republican Party to save tax payers’ money?

  2. AG Strange to Seek Quicker Executions Amid Inmate Protests

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    Attorney General Luther Strange announced yesterday that he intends to prioritize legislation that expedites the execution in the coming legislative session.

    His legislative model, titled the “Fair Justice Act,” would compress the appeals process, stacking conviction and attorney competence appeals into the same time period. This model is already in place in Texas and Virginia, which account for just under half of all executions nationally since the death penalty was restored in 1976.

    Strange denied that the bill would infringe on the rights of the convicted, instead citing closure and justice for victims and their families.

    “[Appeals] seem endless, with excessive delays that serve only to prolong pain and postpone justice for the victims of these heinous crimes,” he stated in a press conference.

    The announcement came in the midst of nonviolent protests at the Elmore, St. Clair, and Holman Correctional facilities. Prisoners there have refused to work, claiming lack of payment for labor, overcrowding, unsanitary conditions and other concerns. Using smuggled cell phones, inmates posted videos to Youtube to describe their issues.

    Strange is running for reelection this year with no official opponents announced. The primary election will be on June 3 with an April 4 filing deadline. Polls open for the general election on Nov. 4.