28 February 2021 :
Alabama is changing its lethal injection protocol and will now allow an inmate to have a spiritual advisor in the execution chamber.
The state filed pleadings Thursday in the case of death-row inmate Willie B. Smith III. As Alabama explained: “At the time of the complaint, this was Defendant’s position, based upon security concerns. In light of the Supreme Court’s decision in this matter, however, Defendant is in the process of amending the ADOC’s lethal injection protocol to permit a condemned inmate to have his spiritual advisor in the execution chamber.”
The change comes just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a shadow docket ruling in Smith’s favor; the Court’s order canceled Smith’s execution on the grounds that Alabama’s refusal to allow a spiritual advisor in the execution chamber was a violation of Smith’s religious rights.
The Alabama Attorney General’s office did not immediately respond to request for comment.