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Alabama House votes to reintroduce electric chair, keep lethal injection drug makers secret

By
Andrew V. Pestano
Electric chairs in the United States have been given names such as Old Sparky and Old Smokey. File Photo by Keith McIntyre/Shutterstock
Electric chairs in the United States have been given names such as "Old Sparky" and "Old Smokey." File Photo by Keith McIntyre/Shutterstock

MONTGOMERY, Ala., March 15 (UPI) -- The Alabama House of Representatives passed a bill that would reintroduce the use of the electric chair if the ingredients for lethal injections are unavailable.

The bill would also keep manufacturers of lethal injection drugs confidential. The bill passed the House with a vote of 76 to 26 and will now move to the state Senate.

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"The system we have today, we all know it is not working," Republican representative and bill sponsor Lynn Greer said. "It may be working for the criminals, but it is not working for the victims. To me, this makes common sense."

Electric chairs were replaced by lethal injections in Alabama in 2002 because they were deemed more humane.

An electric chair execution in Alabama in 1983 took 14 minutes and left the body of the person sentenced "charred and smoldering."

Democratic Representative Barbara Boyd said the death penalty is "something we should not be dealing with," stating she had to speak with her conscience and admitting Republican lawmakers have enough votes to pass the bill.

Lawmakers in Utah recently approved a bill that would allow the state to execute death-row inmates by firing squad as a backup to lethal injection drugs.

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The bill, which passed 18-10 in the Senate Tuesday, now awaits Utah Gov. Gary Herbert's signature.

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