The Death Penalty in Alabama

No one likes to think about the ultimate punishment that can be handed down by the court system in any state that still supports it. The threat of death can be a terrifying thought for any defendant, but those who are realistically faced with the death penalty for a capital crime are going through something complicated and horrifying. The only crime that is worthy of the death penalty—known as a capital crime—in the state of Alabama is intentional murder.

Methods of Execution

Only two methods of execution are utilized in the state of Alabama currently, and in many cases a prisoner gets the small gratification of choosing between the two. For most, the more humane method of lethal injection is chosen, and many states, including Alabama, use this as a primary method of execution. It is considered the best choice amongst the methods of execution utilized over the centuries, although some states have abolished the death penalty completely.

The other method is the more gruesome electric chair method, often used as a prop or significant factor in horror movies and crime dramas. This method is rarely used in any state these days, but the last person to be put to death via electric chair in Alabama was Linda Block in 2002. These days, inmates choose the lethal injection option, with no electrocution executions in the United States since 2005.

A Lethal Cocktail

There are three drugs that make up a lethal injection. The three work together to make the execution run as smoothly and painlessly as possible for the prisoner, witnesses, and the prison personnel, so that the experience is not as horrifying as in years past. The drugs are:

  • Sodium thiopental. This is used to induce unconsciousness within seconds of administration.
  • Pavulon, or pancuronium bromide. This drug paralyzes specific parts of the body, including the respiratory system.
  • Potassium chloride. The third drug induces cardiac arrest, causing death.

A Shocking End

For those who choose the grisly electric chair, death comes in the form of overstimulation to the heart and all internal organs. The prisoner is not conscious after the first shock, which causes brain death, and death comes relatively quickly thereafter. Some states consider the electric chair to be a form of cruel and unusual punishment, such as Nebraska, others allow it only when other forms are considered to be unconstitutional, like Arkansas, and a few, like Alabama, use it as a second choice for those who do not like the idea of lethal injection.

Hand and Associates

Over the last two decades, we have worked hard to achieve a high success rate, and more than 90% of our clients have received a much better than expected sentence or case resolution. Do not play with your life, get someone on your side, fighting to protect your future, as soon as possible. Contact us early in the case to begin building your defense strategy.


About handlawfirm

Born September 12, 1964, Ben earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management degree from Auburn University in 1987 and a Juris Doctorate degree from Cumberland School of Law in 1990. Ben has been a practicing attorney since 1990 and spent six years in Central America. He is familiar with customs and conditions of the region and is fluent in Spanish. Ben established and is currently the Vice President of the Legal and Contracting with Emergency Response Training Systems, the only company to run military style software (jcats/acats) for training of civilian law enforcement (ERTS Opelika, Alabama). This also provides homeland security training for the Auburn University Homeland Security department. Ben Hand is the winner of various Who’s-Who Awards, the Republican of the year for 2001, and a Republican Nominee for the U.S. House in 1994. He is licensed to practice law in Alabama and Georgia. Ben founded Hand, Fellows and Associates law firm and is the founding member of the board of directors of Beacon University in Columbus, Georgia. Ben currently represents thirty-two different non-profit organizations in Alabama, Texas, Georgia and Tennessee. He is a business legal adviser to seventy-five different small businesses and corporations. Ben was hired by Chief of police, Terry Sanders, to represent him in a dispute with the Valley City Council in Valley, Alabama and was also hired by Chief of Police, Ben Brown, to represent him in negotiations with the Lanett City Council and the mayor of Lanett, Alabama. The former city attorney for Uniontown, Alabama, Ben is a city prosecutor for cities of Opelika and Roanoke in Alabama. Ben is a family court referee in Lee County, Alabama and was appointed by Governor Bob Riley as an Administrative Law Judge for State Health Planning and Development Agency. He successfully represented the State Republican party in Lee County during Governor Bob Riley’s election challenge 2002. Governor Bob Riley was elected by a narrow margin and the outgoing Governor challenged the election. Ben was asked by Governor Riley to represent him in Lee County. Governor Riley won and the challenge was dropped by the outgoing Governor. Ben was a guest lecturer for the Auburn University Safe House. He instructed the local law enforcement and Domestic Violence counselors on obtaining protection from abuse orders. Ben was a guest lecturer for Auburn University SOAR for lawyers and realtors on construction law. He is an elder at Believers Church in Auburn, AL and on the board of directors for the Spirit of Life Church in Murfreesboro, TN. Ben is a Gideon speaker and member since 1992 and a Municipal Judge in Wedowee, Alabama since 1995. Ben%2
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