Liberal Justices Slam SCOTUS Majority’s ‘Troubling’ Decision To Allow Alabama Execution To Proceed

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Liberal Justices Slam SCOTUS Majority’s ‘Troubling’ Decision To Allow Alabama Execution To Proceed


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The Supreme Court’s liberal justices released an opinion early Friday morning slamming the majority for allowing an Alabama execution to proceed.

James Barber was pronounced dead at 1:56 a.m. Friday morning after being executed via lethal injection for beating an elderly woman to death in 2001. The Supreme Court declined his request for a stay on the execution in a 6-3 decision just after midnight, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a dissenting opinion that the majority’s decision “allows Alabama to experiment again with a human life.”

The state’s past three executions by lethal injection were botched, leading Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to promise a “top-to-bottom” review of the capital punishment system in November, according to CBS News. Sotomayor noted that an inability to establish IV access led to officials calling executions off in two instances and taking three hours to complete the other.

“The Eighth Amendment demands more than the State’s word that this time will be different,” Sotomayor wrote in the dissent, joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson. “The Court should not allow Alabama to test the efficacy of its internal review by using Barber as its ‘guinea pig.’”

“Today’s decision is another troubling example of this Court stymying the development of Eighth Amendment law by pushing forward executions without complete information,” Sotomayor wrote.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said that “justice has been served” in a statement following the execution.

“This morning, James Barber was put to death for the terrible crime he committed over two decades ago: the especially heinous, atrocious, and cruel murder of Dorothy Epps,” Marshall said. “I ask the people of Alabama to join me in praying for the victim’s family and friends, that they might now be able to find some sense of peace and closure.”

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