McWhorter was convicted of the capital murder of Edward Lee Williams in Marshall County and sentenced to death in 1994. The 30-hour time window for his lethal injection begins at midnight Thursday through 6 a.m. Friday.
Some groups are calling on Gov. Kay Ivey to halt McWhorter’s execution, while others say the death penalty brings long-overdue justice to families.
A handful of people gathered at the Capitol Wednesday to give petitions with thousands of signatures to the Governor’s office, demanding more transparency in the state’s executions.
“If this is something you have to do, we want to know what’s happening, where these drugs are coming from, who is buying them, who is selling them, we need to know all of these questions,” Dawson Hicks with Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty said.
Last year, the state paused executions to internally investigate its protocol after three failed execution attempts. Beyond transparency concerns, demonstrators say the death penalty does not deter crime.
“If executions stopped crimes, we wouldn’t have the type of crime rate that we do in this state,” Hicks said.
Janette Grantham is the executive director of the nonprofit Victims of Crime and Leniency (VOCAL). The group advocates for victims’ rights, and Grantham says it’s important to think about what they go through in these cases.
“This man was shot 11 times, and it was a very cruel murder, and they deserve to pay for that,” Grantham said.
Grantham also says it brings a sense of peace for victims’ families to no longer have to relive the loss of their loved one with every court hearing and appeal.
“We’ve got to remember the victims didn’t ask for this. They did not ask to be murdered. They did not ask to go to all these hearings and everything. They didn’t have a choice,” Grantham said.
McWhorter is set to be the second person executed in Alabama this year following James Barber’s lethal injection in July.