Alabama is preparing to execute a man a day after signing the country’s strictest abortion bill into law.
Michael Brandon Samra is set to be executed by lethal injection on May 16 for murdering two adults and two children at their home in Pelham, Alabama. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review Samra’s case ahead of the execution. His attorneys have also asked Governor Kay Ivey for clemency.
Samra was convicted of capital murder in 1998 and sentenced to death for his role in the killings. At the time, he was 19 and his co-defendant, Mark Duke, was 16.
In 2005, the Supreme Court banned the execution of inmates who were younger than 18 at the time of committing the crime. For this reason, Duke’s death sentence was overturned and changed to life in prison.
Samra’s attorneys appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing the 2005 rule should include offenders up to the age of 21 at the time of their crime. On May 14, the court said it would not review the case and declined to stay Samra’s execution.
Alabama has the highest per capita rate of death sentences in the U.S. In 2017, Ivey signed a bill shortening death penalty appeals, which critics say increases the chance of executing the innocent. Since Ivey took office, Alabama has executed six other inmates.