Death Penalty

Against the Tide: The Death Penalty in Alabama

In Alabama, the death penalty is a curious exception to concerns about government efficiency. When it comes to executing people, a majority of Alabamians appear to trust the government to get it right every time. Lack of transparency in our capital punishment system prompts little public comment. Similarly, on the fiscal side, calls for reducing Alabama's spending rarely include eliminating costly executions.

This fact sheet by ACPP policy analyst Stephen Stetson looks at Alabama's death penalty through the lenses of governmental competence, transparency and fiscal responsibility.

Death Penalty Policy Choices 2012

Substantial evidence suggests external factors unfairly influence whether a person convicted of a capital crime in Alabama will receive the death penalty. Race, gender, age and the relative wealth of both the victim and defendant have been shown to be significant factors in the state's decisions to seek and then impose the death penalty.

Read issue brief here.

A small step closer to a moratorium on the death penalty

The proposal for a moratorium on Alabama's death penalty -- long an Arise issue priority -- made a small but significant step forward this session. After a public hearing that continued over several weeks, the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee recommended on April 7 that a House Joint Resolution be offered to begin formal review of the moratorium proposal. Among those speaking in favor of the moratorium was ACPP policy analyst Stephen Stetson, who offered this testimony.

A Temporary Halt: Alabama's Executions

Alabama has a long and tangled history with the death penalty. A Tuskegee University archive preserves the grim evidence of the "lynch law" that long terrorized African Americans. The state's historic enthusiasm for legal executions, which remains strong, bears the stain of racism as well. One measure of the problem is the frequency of national court rulings that address Alabama's capital punishment machinery.

This fact sheet examines the history of capital punishment in Alabama against the backdrop of national legal trends and the growing call for a moratorium.

Broken Justice: The Death Penalty in Alabama

There is mounting evidence that external factors unfairly influence whether or not an individual convicted of a capital crime in Alabama will receive the death penalty. Race, gender, age and relative wealth of both victim and defendant have all been shown to be significant factors in the decision to impose the death penalty.

 This fact sheet  This fact sheet outlines proposed death penalty reform legislation for 2007.