ATMORE, Ala. (WIAT) – The State of Alabama has executed Matthew Reeves following a US Supreme Court ruling lifting a stay in the case.
Below are CBS 42’s live updates from the day of Reeves’ execution. The most recent updates will appear first. You can also follow CBS 42’s Lee Hedgepeth on Twitter for more information.
9:24 p.m. — The State of Alabama has executed Matthew Reeves, an intellectually disabled Black man, for the 1996 murder of Willie Johnson. You can read a full account of the execution here.
8:24 p.m. — John Palombi, a lawyer for Matthew Reeves, just released a statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to allow his client’s execution.
Here it is, in part:
“The immense power of the State should be used to help its citizens, not to prevent them from exercising their rights. The immense authority of the Supreme Court should be used to protect its citizens, not to strip them of their rights without explanation. Tonight we should pray for Matthew Reeves and his family, Willie Johnson and his family, and for the future of the State of Alabama and the Supreme Court.”
8:10 p.m. — Members of the press are still in ADOC’s “media center” just a minute or so from Holman. We have been told we will be moved to the execution witness chamber “when the facility is ready.”
7:29 p.m. — The US Supreme Court has lifted its stay of Matthew Reeves’ execution. The lethal injection will be allowed to move forward. Justices Barrett, Kagan, Sotomayor and Breyer would have allowed the stay to remain in place.
6:00 p.m. — The State of Alabama’s initial plan was to execute Matthew Reeves at 6 p.m. A court order preventing his execution is still in place, however, so the lethal injection can not yet proceed. The case is in the hands of the US Supreme Court now.
5:00 p.m. — According to a prison official, death row inmate Matthew Reeves refused breakfast, lunch, and a final meal today. He made no special requests of the government that is preparing for his execution.
Approximately 4:30 p.m. — A prison official has said that Reeves was moved to a holding cell adjacent to the execution chamber.
12:00 p.m. – Attorneys for Matthew Reeves filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court opposing the State of Alabama’s effort to have the high court lift the injunction preventing Reeves’ lethal injection.
6:00 a.m. – Currently, a stay issued by a federal district court is preventing the execution of Matthew Reeves by lethal injection. Reeves claims that prison officials violated his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when they did not provide him an accommodation to understand a form that would have allowed him to opt into death by nitrogen suffocation. The district court said Reeves is “substantially likely” to win in court on that claim. The State of Alabama unsuccessfully appealed that ruling to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Now, Alabama has appealed again, this time to the nation’s highest court. The Supreme Court, then, will likely determine Matthew Reeves’ fate.