Published on: Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Two former governors of Alabama from opposite sides of the political aisle published an opinion piece in The Washington Post calling for the state to put an end to executing people who were sent to death row by a split jury, and for Alabama to commute the sentences of 146 death row inmates.

Specifically, the piece calls for an end to executing people who were sent to death row either by a non unanimous jury, or by a judge who overturned a jury’s sentence for life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The op-ed was written by former Govs. Robert Bentley and Don Siegelman. Bentley, a Republican, served as governor from 2011 to 2017; Siegelman, a Democrat, served from 1999 to 2003.

Data from the Alabama Department of Corrections shows there are currently 167 people on Alabama Death Row—the greatest use of death row in the nation when adjusted for population. For every 100,000 Alabamians, there are 3.3 people on death row – by far the highest rate in the United States.

Under current Alabama law, a jury can vote 10-2 and still impose a death sentence.