Pro-Life? Alabama Executes Mentally Disabled Man Day After Banning Abortion

Photo courtesy of the Alabama Department of Corrections

Alabama executed a purported mentally disabled man on Thursday, one day after the state affirmed its commitment to protecting life through the enactment of a stricter anti-abortion bill, according to the Associated Press.

Michael Brandon Samra was convicted of killing the 7-year-old sibling of his friend Mark Duke, and of helping Duke murder three other members of his family.

Samra said he hoped Governor Kay Ivey would grant him clemency after he signed on Wednesday a bill that will virtually ban abortion in the state. “Today my hopes were dashed. I guess she didn’t mean it,” he said.

According to court statements, the murders were motivated by the refusal of Duke’s father to allow him to use his pick up truck. The court overturned Duke’s death sentence because he was 16 at the time of the crime.

The crime, which took place in a Birmingham suburb in 1997, caused national uproar and made it to the Supreme Court, which denied Samara’s petition to delay his execution while the Kentucky Supreme Court considered whether anyone younger than 21 could be sentenced to death.

Duke’s was not the only death penalty carried to completion in the South this week -- in spite of the recent slew of anti-abortion laws. On Thursday, Tennessee executed Don Johnson, who was convicted of suffocating his wife in 1984.

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