Alabama looking into different execution methods

Alabama looking into different execution methods

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Utah is bringing back executions by firing squad, and some Alabama lawmakers say they would consider doing the same.

Right now, there's currently legislation to bring back "Yellow Mama," Alabama's electric chair.

There are 194 inmates on death row in Alabama, and some of them have been there for decades. There hasn't been an execution in Alabama since 2013, and lawmakers are trying to change that.

State Representative Lynn Greer wrote legislation to bring back Yellow Mama, and the idea has been popular among lawmakers.

"It went through the house real quick, and it's in the senate now, and I think it'll go through there fairly soon," Greer said.

States are preparing in case the Supreme Court rules lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment this summer.

"Because of the botched executions, defense attorneys are arguing it's cruel and inhumane to put an individual through an execution this way," legal analyst Mark McDaniel said.

Those arguments have caused a backlog on death row. One inmate, Arthur Lee Giles, has been on death row for the last 30 years.

Another, Thomas Arthur, has been on death row since 1982, and has had his execution postponed six times over the last 12 years.

"There are at least 20 that you could put to sleep last night if you had the drug, but we don't have the drug," Greer said.

So Utah will return to firing squads, and Alabama could return to the electric chair, among other options.

"We can choose not only the electric chair, but any other method available - hanging, firing squad, gas chamber or whatever," Greer said.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on lethal injections this summer.

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