June 21, 1996 in Nation/World

Alabama To End Chain Gangs

Compiled From Wire Services
 

A year after becoming the first state to bring back chain gangs, Alabama has yielded to pressure to end the practice.

“They realized that chaining them together was inefficient, that it was unsafe and they ended the practice,” said attorney Richard Cohen of the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose lawsuit challenged chain gangs as cruel punishment.

The shackling of five inmates together with leg irons as they work on roadside cleanup will be banned permanently in Alabama under an agreement reached by lawyers for inmates, state prison officials and Gov. Fob James.

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