Ala. electric chair bill passes state House

Ala. electric chair bill passes state House

MONTGOMERY, AL (WAFF) - The Alabama electric chair, deemed "Yellow Mama" due to its characteristic yellow paint, has not been the primary method of execution in the state for over a decade.

Wednesday, however, the state House of Representatives approved a bill that would reverse that if lethal injections are no longer an option.

The bill, named the "Capital Punishment Preservation Act," was approved in a 76-26 vote.

It will allow the electric chair to be deemed the primary method of execution in the event lethal injection is either ruled unconstitutional, or if the drugs used in the cocktail are unavailable for any reason.

The state legislature switched to lethal injection from the electric chair as the primary method in 2002, however inmates have been provided the choice of which mode they prefer to be used.

A series of lengthy or botched executions in other states using lethal injections has led to a growing outcry by defense lawyers that the method amounts to "cruel and unusual punishment."

The bill now must go through state Senate approval.

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