Eleventh Circuit Stays Execution of Alabama Death Row Inmate


On Friday, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta rejected the State of Alabama’s request to vacate the stay of execution the federal court had granted to Alabama death row inmate Phillip Hallford.

In June 2007, Phillip Hallford filed a complaint in federal court challenging the constitutionality of Alabama’s lethal injection procedures. The suit was pending on appeal in the Eleventh Circuit in December 2008, when the Alabama Supreme Court set a March 19, 2009, execution date for Mr. Hallford.

On February 11, 2009, the Eleventh Circuit stayed Mr. Hallford’s execution. The State then filed a motion asking the court to lift the stay and allow Alabama to execute Mr. Hallford even though his case is still pending on appeal in federal court.

On Friday, February 20, 2009, the Eleventh Circuit denied the State’s motion to vacate the stay. The court has scheduled oral argument in Mr. Hallford’s case for the end of March.