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Bill to Switch to Lethal Injection for Executions OKd in Alabama

April 12, 2002|From Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama Legislature passed a measure Thursday to change the primary method of execution in the state from the electric chair to lethal injection.

If the bill is signed by Gov. Donald Siegelman, Nebraska would be the only state that still uses the electric chair as the primary method of execution.

The legislation calls for lethal injection to be used unless the inmate asks to die in the electric chair.

Deputy press secretary Rip Andrews said the governor wants to study the bill, but he has said he favors the change. Siegelman and state Atty. Gen. Bill Pryor had urged the Legislature to change the method of execution because of concern the U.S. Supreme Court could declare the electric chair to be cruel and unusual punishment.

"This legislation will remove one of the many filings that clog the courts to delay justice," Pryor said.

The lethal injection bill passed the state Senate earlier in the session and was approved by the House on a 86-0 vote Thursday.

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