Governor Kay Ivey Allows Execution of Man Described as Having 'Significant Cognitive Impairments'
The timing is astonishing.
At 9:15 PM Wednesday Alabama's Republican Governor Kay Ivey tweeted a photo of her signing a bill into law that is effectively a statewide total ban on abortion. Invoking God's name, Governor Ivey said, "this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious & that every life is a sacred gift from God."
Let's do that again: "every life is precious," and "every life is a sacred gift from God."
Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act. To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation sta… https://t.co/iGzfUDMGRk— Governor Kay Ivey (@Governor Kay Ivey)1557957411.0
24 hours later, almost to the minute, Governor Ivey allowed a convicted felon to be executed.
Governor Ivey says his life, too, "is precious," and "is a sacred gift from God."
And she allowed him to be executed.
There's also this explanation of the man's crime, which should give people pause. Via Thursday's New York Times:
"Michael Brandon Samra was executed by lethal injection Thursday evening, according to the Alabama attorney general, Steven T. Marshall. Mr. Samra and a friend, Mark Duke, were convicted in 1997 of killing four people — Mr. Duke’s father, the father’s girlfriend and the girlfriend’s two young daughters — after a dispute over a pickup truck. Both defendants were sentenced to death, but Mr. Duke’s sentence was later overturned because he was 16 at the time of the killings; Mr. Samra was 19."
19 years old. He spent more than half his life in jail, then was executed after being told his life is precious and a gift from God.
The Equal Justice Initiative says Samra "was a teenager with significant cognitive impairments," and "was developmentally slow and suffered tremors in his hands, and was in special education most of his life before dropping out of high school. Mental health experts found prior to trial that Brandon had a low IQ and recommended neurological testing after finding evidence of brain dysfunction."
If Governor Ivey felt so strongly that every life is precious and every life is a sacred gift from God, why didn't she commute his sentence to life in prison?
And if every life is precious and every life is a sacred gift from God, why did she allow six other convicted felons to be executed on her watch as governor?
Samra is the seventh person to be executed while Ivey began serving as governor barely more than two years ago, in April of 2017.
If there's any consideration that Ivey maybe hadn't given executions thought, the LA Times reports Thursday that "six weeks after she was sworn into office, Ivey signed into law a measure shortening the appeals process for capital offense, a move that makes it more likely the state will execute the innocent."
There are 181 other people on death row in Alabama. Governor Ivey has been put to a test of her own making.
Alabamians have a "deeply held belief that every life is precious & that every life is a sacred gift from God," Governor Ivey says.
She literally is the one and only person who can prove that claim true or false, and after Thursday night's execution, Americans are now forced to believe it's a lie – which means Governor Ivey and her fellow Republicans who just made nearly all abortion illegal aren't "pro-life."
They are "pro-birth."
The hypocrisy is breathtakingly astonishing. And yet, exactly what Americans have come to expect from the GOP.