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October 22, 2007

Georgia continues de facto moratorium, while Alabama's governor pledges to go forward

Today brings two more notable data points in the debate over whether the Baze case has created a de facto moratorium on executions: (1) as detailed in this AP article, the Georgia Supreme Court today granted a stay of execution to Curtis Osborne, whose lethal injection execution was scheduled for Tuesday, but (2) as detailed in this Reuters article, Alabama's Governor Bob Riley today expressed his interest in going forward with an execution scheduled for Thursday in his state.  Here are some details from the Alabama story:

Alabama Gov. Bob Riley on Monday rejected calls to postpone this week's execution of convicted serial killer Daniel Lee Siebert despite his terminal cancer and a national controversy over lethal injections. Siebert's execution, scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m. will be the first to go forward since the beginning of a "creeping moratorium" that has halted executions in several U.S. states while the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether lethal injections cause unacceptable pain.

"I would in essence be commuting his sentence to life in prison and that is not the sentence he was given by a jury.  His crimes were monstrous, brutal and ghastly," Riley said in a statement dismissing calls to halt the execution because of Siebert's cancer.  The governor added that Alabama had changed its lethal injection procedures to make sure inmates were unconscious when the lethal drugs were injected during executions and that the state would therefore move forward with Siebert's sentence.

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October 22, 2007 at 06:18 PM | Permalink

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