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Is there a COVID outbreak on Alabama’s death row?  Here’s what we know

ATMORE, Ala. (WIAT) – A nonprofit founded and run by people on death row in Alabama said there is currently “a COVID outbreak” on death row in the state.

In a newsletter released earlier this week, Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty (PHADP) said that while the disease has not yet resulted in death among the convicted, the outbreak has made members of the association “limited in the work we can do”. at present.”

“We hope that those of us who were smart enough to be vaccinated will do well, and of course we hope that the others will too,” the bulletin reads.

So far, Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) officials have remained silent on the matter. CBS 42 made several unsuccessful attempts to contact ADOC.

While prison authorities are releasing some information about COVID-19 to its general prison population, death row-specific data is not currently available.

A total of 2,428 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed among Alabama’s prison population since the start of the pandemic, according to ADOC. Of those, 215 cases were currently active as of Jan. 7, according to the agency.

In the week to Jan. 7, data provided by ADOC shows six new prisoners tested positive for COVID-19 at Holman Correctional Facility, which houses sentenced prisoners, although data from the agency does not indicate whether positive individuals are located on the death line.

Esther Brown, the executive director of Project Hope, said in an interview Friday that she knows at least 6 people on death row who currently have COVID, including one of her organization’s board members. .

Brown said she was focused on the impact personnel matters could have on future executions.

“It remains to be seen whether this outbreak will affect the upcoming execution,” Brown said.

Alabama is currently appealing a court order that blocked the execution of Matthew Reeves, scheduled for January 27.


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