It will be next spring before Alabama can resume executing death row inmates. Republican State Senator Cam Ward says that's the earliest lawmakers will be able to pass new legislation allowing Alabama to receive drugs used for executions.
Ward says pharmaceutical companies are demanding some type of "protection or immunity" before they sell the state more of the lethal injection drugs. Lawmakers say the companies are on guard against possible lawsuits from death penalty opponents. Alabama currently has 16 death row inmates who have exhausted appeals and are awaiting execution.