US: Alabama abortion law raised hope for execution reprieve - PressFrom - US

USAlabama abortion law raised hope for execution reprieve

22:50  17 may  2019
22:50  17 may  2019 Source:

Alabama Senate to vote on bill banning abortion

Alabama Senate to vote on bill banning abortion Alabama Senate to vote on bill banning abortion

Alabama abortion law raised hope for execution reprieve© The Associated Press FILE - This photo provided by the Alabama Department of Corrections shows Michael Brandon Samra. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey refused a reprieve for Samra, an inmate set for execution Thursday, May 16, 2019, night for a quadruple killing that occurred after a dispute over a pickup truck, the prisoner's lawyer said. (Alabama Department of Corrections via AP)

ATMORE, Ala. — A lawyer for a condemned inmate said he hoped Gov. Kay Ivey might a grant clemency request and block the execution after she talked about her belief that "life is precious" in signing a bill to virtually outlaw abortion in Alabama.

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It wasn't to be.

Michael Brandon Samra was put to death by lethal injection Thursday night for his capital murder conviction in a quadruple killing after Ivey, a Republican, rejected his request for a reprieve just hours after signing the abortion law.

Steve Sears, the defense attorney, said he had a hard time reconciling Ivey's "pro-life" position on abortion with her approval of the execution.

"I guess she didn't mean it," he said after the execution at Holman prison.

In approving the new abortion law, Ivey said the legislation "stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians' deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God."

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2020 Democrats warn Alabama portends larger abortion fight Democratic presidential candidates are condemning Alabama's approval of a ban on nearly all abortions.

After the execution, Ivey seemed to draw a line between that position and her stance on capital punishment for Samra, noting that "four lives were brutally taken far too soon."

"Alabama will not stand for the loss of life in our state, and with this heinous crime, we must respond with punishment," she said in a statement.

Samra, 41, and a friend, Mark Duke, were convicted of capital murder in the deaths of Duke's father, the father's girlfriend and the woman's two elementary-age daughters in 1997. The two adults were shot and the children had their throats slit. Evidence showed Duke planned the killings because he was angry his father wouldn't let him use his pickup.

Families of the victims thanked law enforcement and the community for support in a statement read by Prison Commissioner Jeff Dunn after the execution.

"This has been a painful journey. Today justice was carried out," said the statement from relatives, six of whom were witnesses.

Pat Robertson: Alabama 'has gone too far' with 'extreme' abortion law

Pat Robertson: Alabama 'has gone too far' with 'extreme' abortion law Televangelist Pat Robertson, who is opposed to abortion, criticized an anti-abortion bill passed by the Alabama legislature Tuesday as "extreme.""I think Alabama has gone too far," he said during a Wednesday appearance on "The 700 Club", referencing the bill's 99-year maximum sentence for doctors who perform abortions and the fact that it does not provide exceptions for rape or incest cases. He added that he does not think the bill would be upheld by the Supreme Court. "It's an extreme law and they want to challenge Roe vs. Wade but my humble view is that this is not the case we want to bring to the Supreme Court because I think this one will lose," he said.

Samra was aware of the new state law on abortion, Sears said, but Ivey's position didn't give him any hope for a reprieve.

"He was resigned the whole time," he said Friday. "Even if there had been a real chance for hope he wouldn't have had it."

Republican lawmakers passed the abortion law in hope of sparking a court challenge that will result in the U.S. Supreme Court reconsidering the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. The law outlaws abortion except in cases where the mother's life is in danger and doesn't include exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

While women would not face criminal charges for seeking an abortion, anyone performing the procedure could be sentenced to as long as 99 years in prison.

ACLU, Planned Parenthood sue over Alabama abortion ban.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit on Friday challenging a law enacted by Alabama last week that bans nearly all abortions and makes performing the procedure a felony punishable by up to 99 years in prison. The lawsuit is one of several the groups have filed or are preparing to file against states that recently passed strict anti-abortion measures in an effort to prompt the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case that guarantees a woman's constitutional right to abortion.

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This is interesting!