An Alabama lawmaker says it will be next spring before the state can resume executing death row inmates.
Republican state Sen. Cam Ward, a top lawmaker on prison issues, says that will be the earliest that lawmakers will be able to pass new legislation allowing Alabama to receive drugs used for executions.
Ward tells The TimesDaily that the state is "basically out of chemicals." He said pharmaceutical companies are refusing to sell Alabama more drugs until they can get some type of protection or "immunity."
Republican Rep. Lynn Greer, who proposed legislation during the last session to keep the names of drug suppliers confidential, has said the companies fear lawsuits and backlash from death penalty opponents.
There are 16 death row inmates who have exhausted appeals and await execution.