Rocky Myers

Nearly 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 was convicted by a nearly all-white jury who sentenced him to life without the possibility of parole for the murder of his white neighbour. The trial judge overrode their decision and imposed a death sentence – a practice now outlawed in Alabama. No evidence linked him to the scene of 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. 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 him. Rocky Myers faced execution in 2004 and 2012. 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

  • Alabama has executed 68 executions since 1976. Three were carried out in 2019 and one in 2020.
  • As of March 1, 2022, there are170 people, including five women, 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.
  •  Alabama executed people by electrocution until 2002 when the state changed its method to 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, inhuman and degrading punishment.

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