Alabama officials halted the execution of a death row inmate by lethal injection because they could not find a vein before the midnight deadline.
Jon Hamm, Alabama’s reform commissioner, said the decision to cancel Alan Miller’s scheduled execution was made after it became clear they could not begin the process in time.
The last-minute delay came about three hours after the US Supreme Court cleared the way for the execution.
“Due to the time constraints caused by the delay in court proceedings, the execution was rescinded once it was determined that the condemned inmate’s veins could not be accessed as per our protocol before the death warrant had expired,” Hamm said.Read:Ukraine War Diaries: Eyes on Moscow as Russian ‘panic’ sparks jubilation on the frontline | world News
The implementation team has begun the process of trying to establish intravenous access, but it did not know for how long.
The execution was abandoned at about 11:30 p.m. Thursday — half an hour before the state’s death warrant had expired.
Miller, a delivery truck driver, was convicted of killing three men in a 1999 workplace shooting near Birmingham, Alabama.
He was 57 years old She chose hypoxia with nitrogen instead of lethal injections For fear of needles, but his lawyers said officials lost his papers.
This technology is legally available to him, but it has never been used in the United States.
This could cause death by forcing the inmate to breathe only nitrogen, depriving them of the oxygen needed to maintain bodily functions.
When Alabama approved nitrogen hypoxia as an implementation method in 2018, state law gave inmates brief period to designate it as an implementation method.Read:Ipswich: Shepherds Drive Baptist Church opens annexe
Miller said he turned over the documents four years ago by opting for hypoxia in nitrogen, and put the papers in a slot in his cell door at Holman Correctional Facility for the prison worker to collect.
A federal judge on Tuesday blocked his execution by any other means after finding it “highly likely” that Miller “filed an election form in a timely manner even though the state says it has no physical record of the form.”
However, the Supreme Court justices – in a 5-4 decision – overturned an injunction preventing lethal injection from proceeding.