Alabama’s ‘pro-life’ governor accused of hypocrisy after executing man one day after banning abortion

In the wake of Alabama Governor Kay Ivey singing into law the most restrictive abortion ban in the country, the name of a death row inmate who was executed the following day made national headlines, prompting pro-choice advocates to accuse the state of hypocrisy in regards to its alleged belief in the sanctity of “life.”

According to the Associated Press, 41-year-old Michael Brandon Samra was executed Thursday night after a he was injected with a three-drug cocktail.

The AP described his execution as follows:

Strapped to a gurney with his arms extended, Samra made a profession of Christian faith before the drugs flowed.

“I would like to thank Jesus for everything he has done for me,” Samra said. He ended with the word, “Amen.”

As the drugs flowed, Samra went still and his chest heaved three times. He took a few deep breaths and his head moved slightly. Then an officer checked to see if he was still conscious.

A few moments later, Samra’s hands curled inward, his chest moved like he was breathing and his mouth fell slightly agape before he turned ashen.

Naturally, social media erupted with accusations of hypocrisy over the two seemingly contradictory policies: a pro-life state that simultaneously executes a felon who committed his crimes as a teenager.

In an op-ed for for the Los Angeles Times, columnist Scott Martelle wrote that if Governor Ivey “had the courage of her convictions, she would use her authority as governor to grant clemency to Samra and the other 181 people facing execution in Alabama,” adding that the execution placed a “cloud of hypocrisy” over the state.

Even one of Samra’s attorneys used the state’s “pro-life” claims as an argument against his client’s execution. Steven Sears said he hoped Governor Ivey talk of the “sanctity of life” would carry over to his client’s predicament.

“Today my hopes were dashed. I guess she didn’t mean it,” he said after Samra was executed.

In the midst of the controversy, CNN’s Jake Tapper posted a series of tweets explaining why Samra was executed.

“Regardless of your feelings about the death penalty or abortion, or Alabama, I thought some facts about the case and a moment for the victims was worth 5 tweets,” Tapper wrote.

Featured image: Twitter/Alabama Department of Corrections via AP

Sky Palma

Before launching DeadState back in 2012, Sky Palma has been blogging about politics, social issues and religion for over a decade. He lives in Los Angeles and also enjoys Brazilian jiu jitsu, chess, music and art.