Capital punishment in Alabama

Capital punishment in Alabama

The capital punishment is legal and in use by the U.S. State of Alabama.

Current development

The death penalty in Alabama was reinstated on March 5, 1976 [ Regional Studies The South ] ] , when Alabama's legislature passed a new death penalty statute (In 1972 Furman v. Georgia case, the United States Supreme Court ruled that current statutes are unconstitutional, which results effective ban on the capital punishment until Gregg v. Georgia, which overturned Furman in 1976. After Furman every death sentences in country were commuted, but number of states passed a new statutes, although no execution was carried out until 1977) and Governor George Wallace signed it.


From 1927 [ [ Alabama's Chair ] ] until 2002 electric chair was the only method of executions in Alabama. From July 2002 lethal injection became the primary method. Inmates still could chose electrocution [ [ Methods of Execution ] ] .

After injection was introduced, every inmates chose this over electric chair. The last person executed involuntary in the chair in Alabama (and, to date, last in the U.S.) was Lynda Lyon Block.

Executions are carried out in Holman Prison.


38 people were executed by the state of Alabama from 1983. 24 of them were electrocuted and 14 executed by lethal injection [ [ Inmates Executed in Alabama ] ] [ Death Penalty Information Center ] ] .

Currently there are 195 people on the death row [ [ Death Penalty Information Center ] ]

That's includes 91 black males, 103 white males, 2 other males, 2 black females and 2 white females [ [ Inmates on Deathrow ] ] .

Capital crimes

Intentional murder with 18 aggravating factors [ [ Crimes Punishable by the Death Penalty ] ] .


Governor of Alabama has a sole authority to grant a commutation of a clemency in capital cases [ Clemency ] ] .

There was only one commutation of a death sentence after 1976. Judith Ann Neeley's death sentence was commuted to life in prison with possibility of parole by outgoing Governor Fob James in January 1999.


Alabama death penalty system is criticized for ineffective legal support for inmates facing death sentence. Also some cases are highly controversial. Brian K. Baldwin was executed in 1999 despite lack of evidences of his guilty and, many questions raised about his trial and investigations and other evidences which could claims his innocence [ [ Brian K. Baldwin ] ] .

Other controversial cases results execution were cased of Freddie Lee Wright and Cornelius Singleton [ [ Probably Innocent But Executed ] ] .

Also some juveniles and mentally retarded person were put to death in Alabama.

People executed since 1983

Earlier history

Between 1812 and 1965 708 people were executed in Alabama.

Until 1927 hanging was a method of executions. One person was shot).

Capital crimes includes: murder, rape, arson, robbery] . Alabama executed the last person convicted by crime other than murder in the U.S. (James Coburn in 1964 for robbery).

18 of these people executed in pre-furman era were women.

Most of people executed for rape were black. Many of these cases were controversial.

ee also

*Capital punishment
*To Kill a Mockingbird


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