Steve Marshall

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider the case of an Alabama death row inmate who lawyers say suffers from dementia and can no longer remember killing a police officer in 1985.

Justices will hear arguments today as to whether it would be unconstitutional to execute 68-year-old Vernon Madison. Madison was convicted of killing Mobile police officer Julius Schulte in 1985.

The U.S. Supreme Court has said death row prisoners must have a "rational understanding" that they are about to be executed and why.

The federal government has until mid-November to respond to the state of Alabama's lawsuit seeking to exclude undocumented immigrants from U.S. Census counts.

Last week, a federal judge gave the U.S. Department of Commerce and Census Bureau an extension until Nov. 13 to reply to the lawsuit. Lawyers had said the Department of Justice components needed additional time to finish "evaluating the arguments that the government will make in this matter."

A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit that accuses the Alabama Legislature of racially discriminating against the city of Birmingham by preventing the majority-black city from setting its own minimum wage within the city limits.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a judge's decision to dismiss the lawsuit. The court says "plaintiffs have stated a plausible claim that the Minimum Wage Act had the purpose and effect of depriving Birmingham's black citizens equal economic opportunities on the basis of race."

A Montgomery judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Attorney General candidate Troy King ahead of Tuesday’s GOP runoff election.

King had sued appointed incumbent Steve Marshall over hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions Marshall has received from the Republican Attorneys General Association.

King argued $735,000 of the contributions Marshall received from the group violated Alabama’s ban on transfers between political action committees, since the association received contribution from other PACs before giving the money to Marshall.

In the race for Alabama's Attorney General, challenger Troy King is making a big issue of incumbent Steve Marshall's heavy financial support from the Republican Attorneys General Association.

King filed an ethics complaint yesterday arguing those donations are a "flagrant violation" of the state ban on transfers between political action committees, since the group took money from PACs.

RAGA attorney Charlie Spies calls the complaint a "desperate ploy" based on an "incorrect reading of the law."

The votes are in after yesterday's primary election, but that wasn't enough to decide the Republican candidates in a number of key statewide races.

Several GOP races will be on a runoff ballot next month, including for Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor, and one seat in U.S. Congress.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of yesterday's election came in the race for U.S. House District 2. Veteran U.S. Representative Martha Roby was forced into a runoff with Bobby Bright, a former Democrat who switched parties after losing the seat to Roby back in 2010.

With less than three weeks until primary elections in Alabama, civil asset forfeiture is back in the headlines.

Earlier this month, incumbent Attorney General Steve Marshall called the process a “vital tool for law enforcement” that “needs to continue” while speaking at a candidate forum. His GOP opponents vying for the Attorney General nomination all say that reforms need to be made.

A former police chief in central Alabama has pleaded guilty to violation of an ethics law and fraudulent use of a credit card.

Brian Allan Stilwell was charged for crimes he committed between 2010 and 2015. Stillwell was Police Chief of the Clanton Police Department at the time. He was also treasurer of the Chilton County Fraternal Order of Police.

Prosecutors accused Stillwell of using the Fraternal Order’s bank debit card to take money for personal use. He was also accused of using his position as police chief to take money from the Police Department.

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 man convicted of killing his former boss at a traveling carnival nearly two decades ago was put to death last night after having dropped his appeals and asking courts to execute him.

50-year-old Michael Wayne Eggers died at 7:29 p.m. after receiving a lethal injection at a southwest Alabama prison. He was sentenced to death for the murder of his former employer Bennie Francis Murray in 2000. Prosecutors say Eggers admitted to strangling Murray during an argument.

Alabama State House
AP

Alabama’s ethics law for public employees and state officials could see some changes soon.

State Senate President Del Marsh filed a bill late last week including several measures aimed at clarifying or in some cases strengthening the ethics law. However, the bill would also allow state legislators to create legal defense funds and would provide a lobbying exemption for “economic development professionals”, provisions that give current ethics officials pause.

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.

Lewis
Jefferson County Jail

Three Birmingham-area officials were arrested yesterday on felony state ethics charges.

In a news release last night, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced Sherry Lewis, chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Birmingham Water Works, was arrested along with Jerry Jones, a former vice president at Arcadis (the Water Works' preferred engineering firm) and Mt. Vernon Mayor Terry Williams, who also owns Global Solutions International Inc., an Arcadis subcontractor.

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.

The Alabama Ethics Commission has found probable cause that a state district court judge in Cullman County has violated the state’s ethics law.

Ethics Commission Executive Director Tom Albritton says Cullman County District Court Judge Kim Chaney appointed his son, who is an attorney, to criminal cases in the district. The state ethics code says, in part, that public officials cannot use their offices to benefit themselves or family members.

Albritton says the commission is referring the matter to Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office.

Next Birmingham Mayor May Inherit Confederate Monument Fight

Oct 9, 2017

Birmingham’s next mayor may have a fight on his hands immediately upon taking office in November.

Randall Woodfin may have to find a way to deal with the ongoing controversy over an embattled Confederate monument in Birmingham. The city is facing a lawsuit from the state Attorney General Steve Marshall over the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Linn Park.

The Alabama Memorial Preservation Act that was passed this summer makes it illegal to remove or rename any memorial streets or buildings on public property that have been in place for 40 or more years.

Alabama’s Attorney General Steve Marshall has filed lawsuits against several casinos in Alabama, saying they are operating illegal slot machines under the guise of electronic bingo.

Yesterday, Marshall’s office filed lawsuits in five counties seeking to shut down the electronic bingo operations. Marshall says the Alabama Supreme Court has made abundantly clear that the machines are illegal.

The state of Alabama is asking the U.S. Supreme Court for permission to proceed with the execution of a man convicted of killing his estranged wife and father-in-law back in 1993.

Yesterday, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall asked the nation's high court to overturn an injunction currently blocking Thursday's scheduled execution of 56-year-old Jeffery Lynn Borden.

A judge has dropped sex charges against two school employees, saying the state law is overbroad and unconstitutional.

Morgan County Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson dismissed charges against 44-year-old Carrie Witt and 27-year-old David Solomon yesterday. Witt is a former teacher at Decatur High School who was arrested in March 2016 for allegedly having sex with two Decatur High students, one 17 and one 18. Solomon is a former contract teacher at Falkville High School accused of having sex with a 17-year-old Falkville High student.

Alabama death row
EJI

The state of Alabama put Robert Melson to death last night for killing three people during a 1994 robbery of a Gadsden fast food restaurant.

Melson was pronounced dead at 10:27 p.m. last night, according to the Alabama Department of Corrections. It’s the second execution of the year in Alabama.

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.

An inmate once called the "Houdini" of Alabama's death row for escaping seven past execution dates was put to death early this morning for a 1982 contract killing.

Tommy Arthur, 75, was pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m. this morning following a lethal injection, according to correctional authorities said. Arthur was convicted of killing riverboat engineer Troy Wicker, who was fatally shot as he slept in his bed in Muscle Shoals.

Steve Marshall AG
Albert Cesare / Montgomery Advertiser

Steve Marshall was sworn in as Alabama's new attorney general yesterday.

Marshall took the oath of office yesterday afternoon in Montgomery. Late last week, Gov. Robert Bentley named Marshall, the long-time district attorney of Marshall County, to the position. It had been vacant since Bentley appointed former Attorney General Luther Strange to the U.S. Senate.

At his swearing-in, Marshall said fighting public corruption and combating human trafficking would be among his top priorities.