The recent failure to administer lethal injection in Alabama is unprecedented nationwide, according to a death penalty watchdog group.
The Death Penalty Information Center told The Associated Press on Friday that no other state has had to halt executions since 2017.
The execution of death row inmate Kenneth Eugene Smith, 57, was called off before a midnight deadline Thursday because state officials could not find a suitable rig.
It was the second time the state failed to execute an inmate in the past two months, and the third since 2018.
The execution of the Alabama man who killed the preacher’s wife was stayed for a strange reason
One implementation was completed in July after a three-hour delay in starting the IV line, partly due to the same problem.
“I think Alabama clearly needs to do some explaining, but also some thinking about what’s going wrong in its implementation process,” said Ngozi Ndole, the center’s deputy director. “The question is whether Alabama will take it seriously.”
However, the Alabama Department of Corrections disputed that the revocation was a reflection of the problems, blaming the late court action on “the short amount of time to perfect the protocol.”
Officials said they postponed the executions for the night after the US Supreme Court cleared the way for the execution to begin at 10:20 p.m. and the death warrants did not expire within a 100-minute window. stopped.
The court lifted the stay by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier in the evening, but the state decided an hour later that the injection would not take place.
“We have no concerns about the state’s ability to carry out lethal injection procedures in the future,” the Alabama Department of Corrections said in a statement emailed to the outlet, saying it would review areas for improvement and Will continue to review our processes to identify them.
Fox News Digital’s request for comment from the department was not immediately returned.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey blamed Smith’s last-minute appeals for the execution not being carried out as scheduled.
“Kenneth Eugene Smith chose $1,000 for the life of Elizabeth Dorlin Sennett, and she was guilty, no question about it. Nearly three decades ago, Elizabeth’s family was promised that the death penalty would be legalized. Justice will be served by said. “Although last-minute legal efforts to delay or cancel the execution did not bring justice tonight, it was worth trying.”
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Smith’s layers say they believe he was strapped to a gurney for four hours, although final appeals were underway after he was reunited with him.
“Mr. Smith undoubtedly suffered injuries from the attempted execution — and certainly physical and testimonial evidence that needed to be preserved — that could have been photographed and/or filmed,” Smith’s attorneys wrote.
The state must go back to court to get a new execution date.
After surviving the attempt, he was returned to Holman Prison.
Smith was convicted in 1998 of the murder-for-hire of the preacher’s wife, Elizabeth Sennett.
Prosecutors said the death row inmate was one of two men paid $1,000 each to kill Elizabeth Sennett by her husband, Charles Sennett Sr., who wanted to collect on insurance. Sennett was found dead in her Colbert County home on March 18, 1988, and the coroner testified that the 45-year-old had been stabbed eight times in the chest and once on each side of the neck.
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Her husband killed himself when a murder investigation focused on him as a suspect.
John Forrest Parker, another man sentenced to death for murdering, was executed in 2010.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.