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How Alabama chooses who to execute on death row next

Rickey Stokes

Viewed: 2533

Posted by: RStokes
Date: Dec 31 2017 3:38 PM

This story is a part of Ask Alabama, where you ask the questions, you vote to decide which questions we answer, and then we investigate.  


This week we're answering a question submitted by a reader from Hamilton who asked: 


How does the state of Alabama decide the next death row prisoner to execute?


John Palombi knows a thing or two about death row. Four of five of his clients make up the entirety of executions in Alabama since Christopher Eugene Brooks was put to death in January 2016 for the rape and murder of Jo Deann Campbell in 1992. Before that, it had been two and half years since a death row inmate had been executed.


"It can be a difficult job sometimes. It has its fair share of ups and downs," said the assistant federal defender with the Office of the Federal Defender for the Middle District of Alabama.


But the process to get to the stage where an inmate is strapped to a gurney in the execution chamber inside Holman Prison in Atmore can often take decades. The process is arduous and complex, as Palombi explains.


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