Editor’s Note: This is an opinion column.
By Paul DeMarco
Following the postponement of the past two executions in Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey has now entered a temporary moratorium on the death penalty in the state.
Governor Ivey has asked Attorney General Steve Marshall to withdraw pending motions to the Alabama Supreme Court requesting execution dates until a thorough review of the execution process can be completed.
The Alabama Department of Corrections has had its fair share of problems and criticism. They are now tasked with satisfying the Governor that they have the correct process and procedures in place and can reliably carry out the ultimate punishment. Corrections officials have to methodically and exhaustively address the issues that have arisen to show that the state is ready to move forward so she will lift the moratorium.
There is no doubt that these issues must be resolved to ensure that the court’s sentence is carried out and justice is achieved. The death sentence is reserved for the most heinous of murders and is imposed when a jury recommends, and a judge orders a death sentence.
Families of crime victims already have to wait decades for justice. The Governor herself questioned the endless last-minute appeals that delay executions after numerous attractions have already been turned down in both state and federal court.
There are some death penalty opponents that simply do not want there to be any death penalty at all. However, that is not the law in Alabama, and these sentences must move forward.
Thus, the review of the process needs to be done expeditiously to ensure capital punishment sentences are resumed without delay. Justice delayed is justice denied. Crime victims and the citizens of the state of Alabama deserve no less than a criminal justice system that instills public confidence by carrying out the sentences imposed.
Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives and can be found on Twitter @Paul_DeMarco.