An important bipartisan federal criminal justice reform legislation, called the First Step Act (S.3649) currently awaits a vote in the U.S.
Alabama’s first execution was carried out in 1812. From 1812 to 1927, the primary method of execution was hanging. In 1927, the electric chair was introduced. The modern death penalty was reinstated in Alabama in 1976. Today, the primary method of execution is lethal injection, although inmates convicted prior to 2002 can choose to be executed by electrocution or lethal injection. Since 1976, 58 executions have occurred.
There are notable cases in recent history in which new information emerged after conviction that cast doubt on the guilt of condemned prisoners, but in most of those cases the prisoners were still executed. Alabama is one of only three states that allow judges to override jury sentencing recommendations, and the only state that allows a judge, without restriction, to override a jury vote for a life sentence. It is also the only state whose anti-death penalty organization (Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty) was founded by death row inmates. Founded in 1989, the Chairman and Board are at Holman Prison on death row.
Senator Hank Sanders has introduced a moratorium bill in the state senate for over a decade. Representative Merika Coleman has introduced a moratorium bill in the state house for the past five years.
For more information and ways to get involved, contact your state's organizations:
Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty is an Alabama death-row-prisoner-founded and run organization, established in 1989. Our mission is to work together with friends and other supporters to educate the public and to bring about the abolition of the death penalty in Alabama.