Alabama execution called off for time and medical concerns

Alabama officials have called off the lethal injection of a man convicted in a 1999 workplace shooting because of time concerns and trouble accessing the inmate’s veins

ATMORE, Ala. — Alabama officials called off the Thursday lethal injection of a man convicted in a 1999 workplace shooting because of time concerns and trouble accessing the inmate’s veins.

Alabama Corrections Commissioner John Hamm said prison officials called off the execution after they determined inmate Arthur Miller’s “veins could not be accessed in accordance with our protocol” before a midnight deadline to get the execution underway. Miller has been returned to his cell at the south Alabama prison, Hamm said.

The halt to the execution came three hours after a divided U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for the execution to begin. The 5-4 decision lifted an injunction granted after Miller’s attorneys said the state lost his paperwork requesting his execution be carried out using nitrogen hypoxia, a method legally available to him but one never used before in the U.S.

Miller, 57, was convicted of killing three people in a 1999 workplace rampage, drawing the death sentence.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — A divided U.S. Supreme Court said Alabama can proceed Thursday night with the lethal injection of an inmate convicted in a 1999 workplace shooting, vacating two lower court rulings that sided with the condemned man and his request for a different method of execution.

The 5-4 decision reversed rulings by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and a federal judge that the lethal injection could not go forward after Alan Miller's attorneys said the state lost his paperwork requesting his execution be carried out using nitrogen hypoxia, a method legally available to him but one never used before in the U.S.

Miller, 57, was convicted of killing three people in a 1999 workplace rampage, drawing the death sentence. A judge blocked the state's execution plan earlier this week.

Miller testified that he had turned in paperwork four years ago selecting nitrogen hypoxia as his execution method, putting it in a slot in his cell door at the Holman Correctional Facility for a prison worker to collect.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge R. Austin Huffaker Jr. issued a preliminary injunction blocking the state from killing Miller by any means other than nitrogen hypoxia, after finding it was “substantially likely” that Miller “submitted a timely election form even though the State says that it does not have any physical record of a form.”

Thursday night's Supreme Court ruling vacated that injunction at the request of the state. Justices lifted the stay at about 9 p.m. giving the state a three hour window to get the execution underway before the death warrant expires at midnight. The July execution of Joe Nathan James took more than three hours to get underway after the state had difficulties establishing an intravenous line.

Although Alabama has authorized nitrogen hypoxia as an execution method, it has never executed anyone with that method and the state's prison system has not finalized procedures for using it to carry out a death sentence.

Nitrogen hypoxia is a proposed execution method in which death would be caused by forcing the inmate to breathe only nitrogen, thereby depriving him or her of the oxygen needed to maintain bodily functions. It is authorized as an execution method in three states but no state has attempted to put an inmate to death by the untested method. Alabama officials told the judge they are working to finalize the protocol.

Many states have struggled to buy execution drugs in recent years after U.S. and European pharmaceutical companies began blocking the use of their products in lethal injections. That has led some to seek alternate methods.

When Alabama approved nitrogen hypoxia as an execution method in 2018, state law gave inmates a brief window to designate it as their execution method. Miller testified that he opted for nitrogen when the form was distributed on death row because he disliked needles.

“That the state is not yet prepared to execute anyone by nitrogen hypoxia does not mean it will harm the state or the public to honor Miller’s timely election of nitrogen hypoxia. By contrast, if an injunction does not issue, Miller will be irrevocably deprived of his choice in how he will die — a choice the Alabama Legislature bestowed upon him,” Huffaker wrote.

Miller had visits from family members and an attorney on Thursday as he waited to see if his execution would go forward. He was given a food tray that included meatloaf, chuckwagon steak, macaroni and french fries, the prison system said.

Prosecutors said Miller, a delivery truck driver, killed co-workers Lee Holdbrooks and Scott Yancy at a business in suburban Birmingham and then drove off to shoot former supervisor Terry Jarvis at a business where Miller had previously worked. Each man was shot multiple times and Miller was captured after a highway chase.

Trial testimony indicated Miller believed the men were spreading rumors about him, including that he was gay. A psychiatrist hired by the defense found that Miller suffered from severe mental illness but also said Miller’s condition wasn’t bad enough to use as a basis for an insanity defense under state law.

———

This story has been corrected to show Alabama's last execution was in July.

Related TopicsCapital Punishment

    NEWS RELATED

    Bank of Canada to share more of interest rate decision-making process in 2023

    The International Monetary Fund is recommending the Bank of Canada publish a detailed summary of monetary policy deliberations to improve transparency. In a new report that reviews the central bank’s transparency practices, the IMF says the Bank of Canada “sets a high benchmark for transparency.” The report also provided 10 ...

    View more: Bank of Canada to share more of interest rate decision-making process in 2023

    What is a Category 5 Hurricane? Here's an Explainer of the Hurricane Category Scale

    Hurricane strength is ranked on a scale of five categories, which are based entirely on wind speeds and estimated damage

    View more: What is a Category 5 Hurricane? Here's an Explainer of the Hurricane Category Scale

    How Hurricane Ian is Impacting the Weather in North Texas

    Hurricane Ian is causing devasting impacts to parts of Florida. While the southeast is feeling the brunt of the storm, the hurricane is influencing the weather in North Texas. The winds/ flow in the atmosphere around Hurricane Ian will result in a cold front sliding into North Texas Thursday. ...

    View more: How Hurricane Ian is Impacting the Weather in North Texas

    Pickleball, anyone? LeBron James buys expansion club in paddle sport league with fellow NBA stars Draymond Green and Kevin Love, as Lakers legend adds to his portfolio that already includes shares of Liverpool, MLB's Red Sox and the NHL's Penguins

    LeBron James is buying an expansion Major League Pickleball club Fellow NBA stars Kevin Love and Draymond Green are also investing with JamesJames already owns minority stakes in the NHL's Penguins and MLB's Red Sox Terms of the sale weren't disclosed, but MLP is offering $2 million in prize moneyFront Office Sports reports 66 new pickleball venues opening in US each month Click here for all your latest international Sports news from DailyMail.com 

    View more: Pickleball, anyone? LeBron James buys expansion club in paddle sport league with fellow NBA stars Draymond Green and Kevin Love, as Lakers legend adds to his portfolio that already includes shares of Liverpool, MLB's Red Sox and the NHL's Penguins

    Family of six trapped on car roof in floods in Arizona

    The family, which included an 11-month old baby and three other children, were left stranded on the roof of their SUV when they attempted to drive through a flooded road. An emergency rescue team were deployed to lift them to safety.

    View more: Family of six trapped on car roof in floods in Arizona

    Gov. DeSantis appointee in predominantly black county resigns after photos emerge of him wearing a KKK outfit at a Halloween party

    Jeffery Moore, a former Gadsden County commissioner, resigned after photos began circulating of him wearing a KKK outfit at an undated Halloween party The photo shows him partying in a Klan robe and hood, and Moore has yet to offer an explanation over the shocking pictureMoore, who joined the board after being tapped by Gov. Ron DeSantis, was the only GOP member serving the state's only predominantly black countyThis is the second incident of its kind after photos emerged of DeSantis' state secretary wearing black face at a Halloween party, forcing him to resign in 2019

    View more: Gov. DeSantis appointee in predominantly black county resigns after photos emerge of him wearing a KKK outfit at a Halloween party

    ‘Heartland’ actor Robert Cormier Dies at age 33

    Canadian actor Robert Cormier, who appeared in the drama “Heartland” has died at the age of 33. The actor died Friday in Etobicoke, Ontario, according to his obituary. No cause of death was shared. His sister Stephanie told The Hollywood Reporter he died of injuries suffered in a fall. ...

    View more: ‘Heartland’ actor Robert Cormier Dies at age 33

    Man Killed After Firing on Dallas Police Officers, Police Say

    NBC 5 News A man who opened fire on Dallas Police Wednesday morning has died after being shot by officers, the department says. Dallas Police said officers were called at about 5:35 a.m. to reports of an armed person along the 10300 block of Shiloh Road near Ruth Ann ...

    View more: Man Killed After Firing on Dallas Police Officers, Police Say

    ACE Eddie Awards 2023 Date Set

    Katie Couric Reveals She Has Cancer, 24 Years After Husband’s Death

    Katie Couric Shares Breast Cancer Diagnosis

    'It's not the time to point score': Don Lemon is reduced to silence AGAIN by a CNN guest after trying to blame Hurricane Ian on 'climate change' - while millions evacuate and Florida faces $45b in damages

    Suspect identified in PnB Rock’s fatal shooting at Roscoe’s

    Laying out the options for a hurricane-impacted Mets-Braves series

    Covid Vaccination Linked to Slight Increase in Menstrual Cycle, NIH Study Confirms

    Epix To Rebrand As MGM+ & Orders Crime Thriller ‘Hotel Cocaine’ & Julian Fellowes’ ‘Belgravia’ Sequel

    Heritage designation for site of Preston Springs Hotel removed by Cambridge

    Jeffrey Dahmer’s prosecutor speaks out against Netflix’s characterization of cops in Netflix’s ‘Monster: The Jeffery Dahmer Story’

    Formats Veteran Siobhan Crawford Launches Distributor Glow Media With ‘Bake Off Belgium’ Producer Free Kings

    Disney World asks hotel guests to shelter in place during Hurricane Ian as parks close

    OTHER NEWS

    Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand newsVerified News Story Network