AG: failure of capital punishment legislation 'disappointing' - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

AG: failure of capital punishment legislation 'disappointing'

One of two bills that failed involved keeping names of lethal injection drug suppliers confidential. (Source: MGN) One of two bills that failed involved keeping names of lethal injection drug suppliers confidential. (Source: MGN)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange pointed to legislation to speed up the appeals process in death penalty cases which died in the legislature thusly: "I think it was a somewhat disappointing session."

The measure would have let convicted killers' appeals go through the courts simultaneously, instead of one after another, stretching out the process year after year.

"It doesn't need to last an inordinate amount of time," said Strange. "That's what's happening in our capital cases. We have an inmate on death row that has been there for over 35 years. That's not fair to the families or to the victims."

Strange also complained about the failure of a bill to keep the names of lethal injection drug suppliers confidential. Those suppliers have been targeted for harassment by anti-death penalty activists to the point that the state is running out of the drugs. Democrats said "no protection."

"We have 16 people on death row who will probably stay there until we are able to resolve that, because people who supply those drugs are intimidated by the people who are opposed to the death penalty," Strange said.

Representative Mike Ball said both bills, especially protection from attack for drug suppliers, are important. "Capital punishment is certainly a hot-button, controversial issue. Those who are adamantly opposed to it would be aggressive in their criticism of a company that furnishes it," he said, adding that he believed it is a protection those companies should have.

Ball said both bills will likely come up again in a future session of the state legislature and have a good shot of passing… eventually.

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