Moratorium 101

A moratorium would halt executions for 3 years to allow for an impartial study to be conducted into the fairness of the application of the death penalty. A moratorium would not include releasing prisoners from prison, nor would it interfere with the judicial system's ability to operate. 

Many municipalities and organizations have come out in support of a moratorium on executions in Alabama; you can find lists of these groups using the links to the right. In this section you will also find essays and other information about the moratorium including how you, your municipality, or your organization can get involved.


  • WHEREAS race and poverty are significant factors in determining who receives capital punishment and whereas Alabama has the highest per capita death row population, and
  • WHEREAS in Alabama Black males make up only 12% of the population but disproportionally more blacks have been executed than whites since the reinstatement of the death penalty  in 1976, and
  • WHEREAS the black population on Alabama’s death row is approximately 49% compared to a total Black population of about 26%, and
  • WHEREAS prisoner appeals have been severely curtailed, and DNA testing is often denied, increasing the risk of imprisonment and execution of innocent people, and
  • WHEREAS in Alabama there is no public defenders system to adequately represent capital defendants, and
  • WHEREAS THE United States Supreme Court has ruled that mental retardation and jury override by judges warrant reexamining death sentences, and
  • WHEREAS 24% of Alabama’s death row is composed of persons whose jury decision of life without parole was overridden by a judge, and
  • WHEREAS the American Bar Association has concluded that administration of the death penalty is “a haphazard maze of unfair practices with no internal consistency” and has called for a moratorium on executions.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE CITY COUNCIL calls on the Governor and our state representatives to enact and adopt legislation imposing a moratorium on executions in Alabama and across the nation until policies and procedures are implemented which:

  • Ensure that death penalty cases are administered fairly and impartially in accordance with basic due process.
  • Eliminate the risk that innocent persons may be executed.
  • Prevent the executions of mentally disabled persons and
  • Create a public defenders office to insure adeaquate representation in capital cases
  • Be it further resolved that copies of this resolution shall be forwarded to the Governor and our state representatives and the President of the United States and our representatives of the Congress.