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Copyright 2014 by Attorney Carlos Gamino
the death penalty was in place, only one person was executed under Wisconsin state law.
Across the country, the popularity of the death penalty is waning. The number of new death sentences imposed fell for the second year in a row – except in Alabama.
According to Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, in 2015, “we still saw six death sentences coming out of Alabama that would not be tolerated almost anywhere else in the country.”
Three states – California (14), Florida (9), and Alabama (6) – accounted for more than half of the total death sentences imposed in the U.S. during 2015.
The reason Dunham claims that the death sentences coming from Alabama would not be tolerated elsewhere in the country is that in all six, judges imposed the penalty without a unanimous recommendation from a jury. That’s only allowed into other states: Florida and Delaware.
A judge in Alabama can override unanimous jury recommendations for life sentence is in favor of the death penalty.
The state has not executed anyone since July 2013, in part due to the struggle to find new lethal injection drugs. (Many drug companies have refused to sell the drugs to states who will use them for imposing a death sentence.)
Alabama has come up with a new three-drug cocktail, however, and they’re preparing for the January 21 execution of Christopher Eugene Brooks, who was convicted of murder in 1992. Brooks has asked the Alabama Supreme Court to halt his execution on the grounds that the new drug cocktail is a form of cruel and unusual punishment and that it’s unconstitutional, but the court denied his request.
What Do You Think?
Is it fair that judges can impose the death sentence without a unanimous recommendation from a jury? I’d love to hear what you think, so feel free to share your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter. As many Wisconsin residents know, our state abolished the death penalty on July 10, 1853. Wisconsin was the first state to permanently abolish the death penalty for all crimes through the passage of the Death Penalty Repeal Act. Even when
News from Attorney Carlos Gamino
Alabama and the Death Penalty
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