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Death row execution delays raises concern

The number of Alabama death row inmates is going up. But executions are nearly at a standstill.
In Houston County alone, 17 people are currently on death row for murders dating back to 1995.
In Houston County alone, 17 people are currently on death row for murders dating back to 1995.
The number of Alabama death row inmates is going up.  But executions are nearly at a standstill.  It's a situation affecting the people involved with the cases and tax payers.  And it also raises even more concerns about the justice system.

October 2011 was the last time the state executed a death row inmate.

Legal experts confirm there are two main reasons for the delay in executions: the appeals process, as cases drag on from the initial trials through state and federal appeals courts, and a shortage of the chemicals used for lethal injections. Some say liberal politics is the blame.

"If you can't defeat the legislature by law, you do all you can to put pressure on whoever's making the chemicals and relationship, so there's a short supply," said Houston County District Attorney Doug Valeska.

In Houston County alone, 17 people are on death row for murders dating back to 1995, including Tierra Gobble, Taiwan Townes and Artez Hammonds, to name a few.

"We want justice, we want a fair trial, we want all the defendant's rights protected, no doubt.”  Valeska said.  “I feel that way as a prosecutor, more importantly, as an individual, but at some point, justice needs to be served.”

He says the solution is simple.

"Alabama has two methods of execution: lethal injection and the electric chair.  Just go back to the electric chair.  Then we won't have any problem about whether someone is suffering, which is completely ludicrous,” said Valeska.

And while he says the justice system should move quicker, he says it's important to respect the inmate's constitutional rights.

Valeska also points out executions delays are an even bigger challenge for the families of murder victims.
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