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.
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?