Next week marks Alabama’s third execution of 2024

Keith Edmund Gavin is set to be executed by lethal injection in the state’s correctional facility. The execution is scheduled to take place sometime between midnight on July 16th and 6 a.m. on July 17th. Gavin was found guilty of murdering William Clayton Jr. back in 1998.

In late April, Gavin’s execution date was determined by Gov. Kay Ivey, making it the state’s second execution by lethal injection this year. Alan Eugene Miller is also set to be executed by nitrogen gas in September.

Attorneys representing Gavin were contacted for comment, but no response has been received yet.

As per legal records, Gavin was found guilty of a murder case in Cook County, Illinois, in 1982. He was released on parole after completing 17 years of a 34-year sentence before the incident that occurred in Centre.

Gavin’s conviction and sentence were upheld by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, and despite appeals to both the state and U.S. Supreme Court, they declined to review his case.

Afterwards, Gavin filed for a Rule 32 hearing alleging that his defense counsel provided ineffective assistance and that the jury had commenced their deliberation prematurely. He contended that the expert they hired to assist with his case during the penalty phase would have difficulty providing assistance and that his attorneys did not effectively present witnesses who could mitigate the severity of his sentence.

The court handling the Rule 32 appeal dismissed his appeal concerning the jury. However, it granted a hearing to evaluate the validity of his argument about receiving ineffective assistance of counsel during the penalty phase of the initial trial.

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According to court documents, the decision made by the Rule 32 court was that Gavin’s counsel was not deficient in failing to present more mitigation evidence. The court concluded that this was due to Gavin and his family’s failure or refusal to work with his trial attorneys and the mitigation specialists. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals upheld this decision.

The decision was upheld by a federal appeals court, and in 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

The Death Penalty Information Center reports that executions have taken place in only five states this year, including Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. Alabama has been executing individuals every year since 2016, and in both 2009 and 2011, it executed six people each year.

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