Rocky Myers

Three Decades on Alabama’s Death Row, Seeking Justice

Rocky Myers is currently on death row at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama.

Rocky Myers, a Black man, was convicted by a nearly all-white jury which sentenced him to life without the possibility of parole for the murder of his white neighbor. The trial judge overrode their decision and imposed a death sentence—a practice now outlawed in Alabama. No evidence linked him to the murder of which he was convicted, except for a video-recorder stolen from the victim, which he maintains he had found abandoned in the street. Key testimonies against him were tainted by inconsistencies and allegations of police pressure, with one later recanted as untrue. 

At age 11, Rocky Myers was diagnosed with an intellectual disability and reads at primary school level. His assigned lawyer for post-conviction appeals abandoned his case without notice, making him miss key deadlines for judicial appeals. The courts relied primarily on IQ tests, a standard which the US Supreme Court found to be inadequate in 2014, to reject his request for a deadline extension submitted on the grounds that he is a person with an intellectual disability. 

Racial and class bias also affected the proceedings against Rocky Myers. He faced execution in 2004 and 2015. As the Governor of Alabama, you can use the power of clemency to alleviate the flaws in the case against him that the criminal justice system could not address and even heightened.

Alabama’s Death Penalty

  • All Alabama executions were carried out by electrocution until 2002, and then by lethal injection. Due to shortages in the supply of lethal injection substances, in 2018 Rocky Myers and others were asked to choose if they wanted to die via the use of new drugs to be used in the lethal injection protocol or gas asphyxiation. He chose the latter.
  • Alabama is building a new gas execution chamber – a cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment.
By the numbers
Alabama has carried out 71 executions since 1976

By the numbers
As of July 2021,165, including 5 women, are on death row in Alabama. All men under sentence of death are held at the Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, close to the Southern border. All women sentenced to imprisonment or death are at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women, North of Montgomery.