The American Bar Association is focusing on Indiana, Georgia, Ohio, Alabama, and Tennessee in calling for a temporary halt to executions until further study can be conducted, reports the Chiciago Tribune. “After carefully studying the way states across the spectrum handle executions, it has become crystal clear that the process is deeply flawed,” said Stephen Hanlon, chairman of the ABA’s Death Penalty Moratorium Implementation Project.
The study also focused on death penalty systems in Arizona, Florida, and Pennsylvania but did not find the same serious conditions as cited in the other five. The ABA says it does not take a position either for or against the death penalty. The study found “significant racial disparities” in the imposition of the death penalty, inadequate indigent defense programs, failures in crime laboratories and a lack of uniformity in implementing nationally recognized best practices in eyewitness identification procedures as well as the recording of interrogations of suspects. Joshua Marquis, district attorney in Clatsop County, Or., and a vice president of the National District Attorneys Association, said, “I think the ABA should drop its pretense of being neutral on the death penalty.  The powers that be in the ABA want the death penalty abolished.”