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Alabama has been very lucky so far. Its lethal-injection executions have not been as badly botched as the one in Florida last December, which hit the headlines around the world.
But it has come close, and so one would think it would be wise for Alabama to follow the examples of Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota and Tennessee, which have all put executions on hold while reviewing their lethal-injection protocol.
The recent ruling of U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson denying Aaron Jones a stay of execution was based solely on Jones' longevity on Death Row, not because Alabama does not have a problem with its protocol. It does, and Alabama courts have acknowledged this by scheduling to hear this issue in June. Of course, for Jones and others, this will come too late.
It is likely Alabama's luck will run out in its rush to set as many execution dates as possible before the courts halt executions and mandate a thorough review and changes this fall. Alabama often prides itself on its independence, but it will have to rethink how it bucks the tide on the death penalty. God forbid that we have the horror of a botched execution. We will not be able to claim ignorance because we knew we had no protocol and were willing to run the risk of torturing people to death.
One thing we all can be sure: It will hit the headlines nationally and internationally. As it is, the rest of the free world cannot understand our bloodlust, our love affair with the death penalty.
Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty