Groups call on Alabama governor to halt Thursday execution

Advocacy groups are calling on Gov. Kay Ivey to halt Thursday’s scheduled execution of an Alabama death row inmate.
Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 11:35 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2023 at 7:46 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A number of advocacy groups are calling on Gov. Kay Ivey to halt Thursday’s scheduled execution of an Alabama death row inmate.

Casey McWhorter, 48, was convicted on a capital murder charge for his role in a 1993 robbery and shooting that claimed the life of Edward Lee Williams in Marshall County. McWhorter was 18 at the time the crime was committed.

Members of the groups seeking to stop McWhorter’s execution said in a statement they will gather on the steps of the state Capitol Wednesday morning to deliver thousands of signatures on two separate petitions, one specifically related to McWhorter, the other surrounding all state executions.

Organizers are urging the governor to stop McWhorter’s execution on several grounds, including his being denied youthful offender treatment, statements made by the judge to the jury about the cost of another trial, and the state’s refusal to reveal its execution protocol and source of its execution drugs, among other concerns.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review McWhorter’s case in 2021.

Organizers of the the petition, called the “Pull Back The Curtains” petition, are demanding greater transparency in Alabama executions, citing what they called the 2022 “horrific torture” of inmate Joe James Jr., which was followed by two other failed executions the same year. They are also demanding media and public witnesses be allowed to observed the execution proceedings “from the moment a prisoner walks him or herself into the death chamber until they are declared dead.”

Participating organizations include:

  • ACLU of Alabama
  • Alabama Appleseed Center for Law & Justice
  • Alabama Arise
  • Alabama CURE
  • Alabama New South Coalition
  • Alabama Poor People’s Campaign
  • Alabama State Conference of the NAACP
  • Civil Rights Memorial Center - Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Death Penalty Action
  • Episcopal Peace Fellowship
  • Faith in Action Alabama
  • Greater Birmingham Ministries
  • Green County Democrat
  • Joe James, et al --PRESENTE!
  • Justice and Mercy for All, Birmingham
  • M.A.A.V.I.S.
  • Mary’s House Catholic Worker, Birmingham
  • North Alabama Peace Network
  • Patch Adams, MD - The Gesundheit! Institute
  • Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty
  • Red Letter Christians
  • Restorative Solutions
  • Restorative Strategies, LLC
  • Vine and Fig Tree Community

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