The death penalty has been a topic of debate recently in Alabama.
Earlier this month the Alabama Supreme Court ruled on the practice, determining it to be constitutional.
The statute was challenged by a former Mobile County defendant, Jerry Bohannon, who argued Alabama’s death penalty was unconstitutional because it allowed judges not juries to have the final determination of a defendant’s sentence.
However, the court ruled “that Alabama’s capital sentencing scheme is consistent with the Sixth Amendment.”
Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich says some crimes are heinous that some offenders deserve the death penalty.
“It is not easy to do. Prosecuting a death penalty case is emotional and there are no winners,” said Rich. “There are no winners but it is our job.”
A recent Pew Research study found that for the first time in 45 years Americans’ support for the death penalty has dipped below 50 percent.
Rich says a death sentence is about justice for both victims and their families.
“These were all senseless acts. Senseless killings, horrific killings in some cases gruesome bloody deaths. That is exactly why we have the death penalty in the state of Alabama,” said Rich.