Supreme Court Won't Review AL Death Row Cases

Jan 26, 2017

Alabama Death Row Unit, Holman Correctional Facility.
Credit EJI

The U.S. Supreme Court says it won’t be taking up the cases of three Alabama death row inmates, including one who recently came very close to the death chamber. reports the Supreme Court justices declined to review the cases of Jerry Bohannon, Aubrey Shaw and Tommy Arthur. Arthur was awarded a last-minute stay of execution from the U.S. Supreme Court back in November.

Each of the inmates was convicted of capital murder. They were all asking the Supreme Court to review Alabama’s death penalty law, specifically an aspect of the state’s sentencing system that lets judges override sentencing recommendations made by jurors. Alabama is the only state in the country in which a judge can overrule a jury recommendation of life in prison and impose the death penalty.

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision does not affect Tommy Arthur's current stay of execution. That resulted from an appeal in which Arthur challenged Alabama's lethal injection procedure as unconstitutional.