Alabama death row

Alabama death row
EJI

 

Former Alabama Chief Justice Drayton Nabers, former state Attorney General Bill Baxley and several former judges and prosecutors are among those who are seeking a new trial for an inmate on Alabama's death row.

The group submitted briefs supporting a new trial for Toforest Johnson who was convicted of the 1995 murder of Jefferson County Deputy Sheriff William Hardy.

Alabama death row
EJI

 

HAMILTON, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama inmate could be eligible for release in the future after pleading guilty to a lesser charge in a fatal robbery case. 

Christopher Dewayne Revis pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder and was resentenced to life with the possibility of parole in the February 2004 death of Jerry Stidham. Revis had been on death row since 2006.

Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr
jeffcoda.org

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A district attorney in Alabama says a black man who has spent two decades on death row should get a new trial amid questions about the fairness of his 1998 conviction. 

Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr on Friday filed a brief supporting a new trial for Toforest Johnson who was convicted of the murder of Jefferson County Deputy Sheriff William Hardy.

Supreme Court
Equal Justice Initiative

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to consider the appeal of an Alabama death row inmate convicted in two slayings. 

The justices rejected a legal challenge by 42-year-old Taurus Carroll without comment on Tuesday.

Vernon Madison
EJI

ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama inmate spared from execution by questions over whether dementia had erased memories of his crime has died on death row.

The Alabama Department of Corrections said in a statement Monday that Vernon Madison died over the weekend. He was 69.

The agency said no foul play is suspected.

Madison spent more than three decades on Alabama's death row for killing a police officer in 1985. His last scheduled execution was halted in 2018 after Madison's attorneys argued that strokes had left him with severe dementia and no memory of the murder.

Alabama Death Row
EJI

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A federal appeals court says an Alabama man condemned to die for a killing more than 30 years ago should get a new sentencing hearing because of questions over his mental competence.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals released the decision Tuesday in the case of James McWilliams.

Court records show McWilliams is on death row after being convicted of sexually assaulting and killing Patricia Vallery Reynolds in Tuscaloosa in 1984.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says it won't review the case of an Alabama death row inmate who argued his sentence is unconstitutional because a judge imposed it over the will of a jury.

The high court said Monday it won't hear Mario Dion Woodward's case. Woodward was convicted of fatally shooting Montgomery police officer Keith Houts during a 2006 traffic stop. A jury voted 8-4 to sentence him to life in prison, but a judge overrode the jury and imposed the death penalty.

Price Temporarily Spared Lethal Injection

Apr 12, 2019
Christopher Lee Price
ADOC via AP

ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama inmate convicted in the 1991 sword-and-dagger slaying of a pastor has been spared a lethal injection. His death warrant expired two hours before a divided U.S. Supreme Court lifted a stay of his execution early Friday.

A federal judge had stayed the execution of Christopher Lee Price on Thursday to weigh his challenge to Alabama's execution process. Alabama now must seek a new execution date from a state court.

"This evening, the state of Alabama witnessed a miscarriage of justice," Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is ordering a new state court hearing to determine whether an Alabama death row inmate is so affected by dementia that he can't be executed.

The justices ruled 5-3 on Wednesday in favor of inmate Vernon Madison, who killed a police officer in 1985. His lawyers say he has suffered strokes that have left him with severe dementia.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court's four liberals in siding with Madison.

Walter Leroy Moody Executed Thursday Night

Apr 20, 2018
Walter Leroy Moody
ADOC

A man responsible for a wave of terror across the Southeast in the late 1980s was put to death last night.

83-year-old Walter Leroy Moody was pronounced dead at 8:42 p.m. last night following a lethal injection at W.C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama.

Moody was convicted of killing U.S. Circuit Judge Robert S. Vance and Robert Robinson, a black civil rights attorney from Savannah, Georgia, with bombs sent through the mail. Two other bombs, including one mailed to a Florida NAACP office, were intercepted and did not explode.

A state Senate committee has delayed a vote as to whether a man who was freed after spending nearly three decades on death row is entitled to financial compensation.

State Senator Paul Bussman has proposed legislation that would grant Anthony Ray Hinton $1.5 million in compensation over three years. Hinton was freed in 2015 after spending 28 years on Alabama’s death row for two murders that occurred during separate robberies of fast food restaurants in Birmingham in 1985.

Alabama Executes Torrey McNabb

Oct 20, 2017

Last night, the state of Alabama put a man to death who was convicted of murdering a police officer and also in the process of suing the state over its lethal injection methods.

Alabama’s Department of Corrections is scheduled to execute 40-year-old Torrey Twane McNabb this evening. But as of now, a stay on that execution remains in place.

Yesterday, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the stay to allow for additional proceedings in McNabb’s lawsuit. He and other Alabama death row inmates are challenging the constitutionality of the state’s lethal injection protocol. Specifically, they argue the sedative midazolam can be ineffective, and might not render them unconscious before other drugs stop their lungs and heart.

Torrey McNabb
ADOC

The state of Alabama is once against petitioning a federal appellate court to allow an execution to proceed – this time for a death row inmate convicted of killing a police officer two decades ago.

Earlier this week, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a stay issued by a federal judge in the case. State attorneys argue there is no reason to block the execution of 40-year-old Torrey Twane McNabb, scheduled for tomorrow.

Supreme Court Sides With AL Death Row Inmate

Jun 20, 2017
James McWilliams
ADOC

The U.S. Supreme Court has come down in favor of an Alabama inmate who argued he didn’t have a mental health expert at his trial to help him try and avoid a death sentence.

The justices divided 5 to 4 yesterday, ultimately siding with Alabama death row inmate James McWilliams. He did not have an independent mental health expert on his side when he was convicted of raping and killing a convenience store clerk in Tuscaloosa.

Supreme Court Clears Way for Melson Execution

Jun 7, 2017
Robert Melson
ADOC

The U.S. Supreme Court has vacated a stay on the scheduled execution of Alabama death row inmate Robert Melson.

The nation’s highest court decided 6 to 3 yesterday that Melson’s execution could go forward even as he and other death row inmates challenge the state’s lethal injection procedures as unconstitutional.

They argue that the sedative Alabama uses to begin its lethal injections, midazolam, is ineffective, and that some inmates haven’t been fully unconscious when other lethal injection drugs work to stop the lungs and heart.

Alabama death row
EJI

A death row inmate in Alabama is looking to halt his upcoming execution due to the use of a sedative that his lawyers say has “failed to work properly in four states”.

Attorneys for inmate Robert Melson appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week for an emergency stay of his execution. Melson is scheduled to be put to death a week from today for the killings of three Gadsden restaurant employees during a 1995 robbery.

Alabama death row
EJI

An Alabama inmate who has had seven past executions postponed is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection tomorrow.

Tommy Arthur still maintains his innocence, but he conceded in a phone interview with the Associated Press from prison that his hopes of winning another reprieve are diminishing. Still, the 75-year-old inmate says he "won't give up."

Supporters of an Alabama death row inmate are waiting to see what the state legislature does on the subject of judicial overrides before the end of this year’s lawmaking session, as the fate of a Covington County man could hang in the balance.

Governor Kay Ivey recently signed a bill into law that stops judges from sentencing future defendants to death after the jury recommends life in prison. State Senator Hank Sanders of Selma wants more. He wrote a bill that extends the ban retroactively to people already on death row due to a judicial override.

Supreme Court Won't Review AL Death Row Cases

Jan 26, 2017
Alabama death row
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.

Al.com 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.

Ronald Smith Put to Death in Controversial Execution

Dec 9, 2016

Alabama death row inmate Ronald Bert Smith was executed last night for the 1994 killing of a Huntsville man.

But the way he died may lend additional support to those attempting to outlaw the use of the sedative midazolam in a three-drug lethal injection cocktail. During the 34-minute execution last night at Holman Correctional Facility, Smith reportedly coughed and heaved for nearly 15 minutes.

An Alabama man is just hours away from execution by lethal injection. Ronald Bert Smith was sentenced to die for killing a convenience store clerk in 1994. It would be the first execution in the state since 2013. But it’s how a judge arrived at the death penalty in this case that has civil rights groups crying foul…

Ronald Smith’s jury recommended life in prison. The judge overturned that suggestion and imposed the death penalty. Alabama is the only state where a judge is empowered to do that. The APR news team reported on this policy during our series on justice reform.

Death Row Inmate Argues Sentence is Unfair

Dec 2, 2016

An Alabama inmate set to be executed next week is asking the governor to intervene because a judge imposed his death sentence over a jury's recommendation of life imprisonment.

Attorneys for Ronald Bert Smith wrote in a letter to Gov. Robert Bentley that the judge overrode the jury's will. The jury voted 7-5 in his case for life in prison.

Smith is currently scheduled to be executed Dec. 8 for the 1994 slaying of Huntsville convenience store clerk Casey Wilson.

Tommy Arthur Scheduled To Be Executed

Nov 3, 2016
Alabama death row
EJI

The state of Alabama is preparing to execute a death row inmate who was convicted in the 1982 killing of a man in a murder-for-hire arrangement.

Tommy Arthur is scheduled to receive a lethal injection at 6 p.m. this evening.

Arthur, now 74, was convicted of murdering Troy Wicker in 1982 as the man slept inside his Muscle Shoals home. Investigators said Arthur was having an affair with Wicker's wife. She later testified that she promised him $10,000 to kill her husband.

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is a half million dollars richer today thanks to the U.S. Department of Justice.

WKRG-TV reports the Sea Lab received the $500,000 check as the result of an investigation that found a Norweigan shipping company guilty of dumping oil and sludge into the Gulf of Mexico.

The settlement reached totaled $2.5 million. As part of the settlement, half a million dollars had to go to a community organization as restitution. The Department of Justice chose the Dauphin Island Sea Lab due to their commitment to stewardship of the Gulf of Mexico.

Christopher Brooks
Alabama Department of Corrections

The state of Alabama executed Christopher Brooks last night for the 1992 rape and murder of Deann Campbell.

The execution was the state’s first in more than two years and the first to be carried out in Alabama using the controversial new sedative midazolam. Some say midazolam carries a high risk of botched executions, and there is currently a pending lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Alabama’s lethal injection procedure.

But Alabama Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn says last night’s execution went “exactly as planned”.

A federal judge has denied an Alabama death row inmate's emergency motion for a stay of execution.

Chief U.S. District Judge William Keith Watkins issued an order denying Christopher Brooks' request yesterday.

Brooks is scheduled to be put to death Jan. 21 for the rape and bludgeoning death of Deann Campbell more than 20 years ago. The execution would be Alabama's first in more than two years.

Alabama death row inmates are seeking alternative methods for execution. APR student reporter Parker Branton reports on their latest arguments.

Death row inmate Tommy Arthur says he’d rather face a firing squad rather than undergo lethal injection in Alabama.

He and Anthony Boyd are pleading their case to change their method of execution. They join five other death row inmates who have filed lawsuits claiming the state’s current three-drug lethal injection protocol for executions as cruel and unusual punishment under the United States constitution.

Pilgrim's Pride
John Bonzo / Wikimedia

The U.S. Department of Labor has filed multiple lawsuits against chicken processor Pilgrim’s Pride.

According to an AL.com report, the agency is accusing the company of discriminatory hiring practices in Alabama and North Carolina.

A complaint filed last month by the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Compliance Programs accuses Pilgrim’s Pride of systematically discriminating against African-American, Caucasian and female job applicants at its poultry plant in Athens.

The Alabama Attorney General's Office is seeking an execution date for a death row inmate convicted in the 1992 rape and murder of a Homewood woman.

Al.com reports the Attorney General submitted a motion to the Alabama Supreme Court last week saying inmate Christopher Brooks has exhausted his direct appeals and should be scheduled to be executed.

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