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Lethal injection facility construction underway at Holman

By By Robbie Byrd, News Editor
A new lethal injection chamber is being planned for Holman Correctional Center and expected to be completed and in operation by Oct. 9, the date of the first scheduled execution.
However, instead of adding a new room or building, Alabama Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Corbett said the electric chair and the lethal injection table will share a "common area," and will be more or less "interchangeable."
Why not build a separate area for both? Money.
While the DOC is completing a sale with the City of Atmore for nearly $2.4 million worth of farm land just east of it's current Holman facility, the money cannot be spent without approval from Montgomery Circuit Court Judge William Shashy.
Shashy has set several mandates for the DOC to help alleviate overcrowding of state inmates at county facilities.
The latest order from Shashy refused to allow the DOC to spend any money from the sale of land to the City of Atmore without Shashy's approval.
The DOC has asked that $185,000 of the money be used for the addition of lethal injection capabilities while the rest of the money will come from current DOC funds.
While Corbett doubts the electric chair will ever be put into use again, he did say it is required by law the state keep both methods operational.
"Originally we had hoped to house two chambers," Corbett said. "This will be one chamber which will be operational for both the electric chair and lethal injection. We don't expect anyone to request (to die by electrocution) but that was left in the bill."
Corbett said that while his office is working on several other projects, the biggest is getting the lethal injection chamber ready for the Oct. 9 deadline.
"We've had a lot of inquiries about when it will be finished," Corbett said. "We have to get it ready for the first set date of execution."