Atmore, Alabama. (AP) — Alabama officials on Thursday rescinded the lethal injection of a man convicted of a 1999 workplace shooting, citing timing issues and difficulty accessing the prisoner’s blood vessels.
Alabama Corrections Commissioner John Hamm said prison officials called off the execution before a midnight deadline after determining that Arthur Miller was “not able to enter as per our protocol.” Hamm said Miller has been returned to his cell at the southern Alabama prison.
The executions were suspended three hours after the divided U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for the executions to begin.The 5-4 decision lifted an injunction after Miller’s attorneys said the state lost the requirement to perform his paperwork using nitroxide, a legal method he could use but had never previously used in US used
Miller, 57, was convicted and sentenced to death for killing three people in a 1999 workplace brutality.
This is a major news update. An early AP story follows.
Atmore, Alabama. (AP) – Alabama can proceed Thursday night with the lethal injection of an inmate convicted in a 1999 workplace shooting, a divided U.S. Supreme Court said, dropping two support for a death sentence the man’s lower court ruling, and his request for a different method of execution.
The 5-4 decision overturned a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and a federal judge that lethal injection could not be done after Allen Miller’s lawyers said the state lost paperwork requiring the use of nitroxide for executions. Go ahead, it’s a legal method he can use but has never used it in the US before
Miller, 57, was convicted and sentenced to death for killing three people in a 1999 workplace brutality. Earlier this week, a judge blocked the state’s enforcement plan.
Miller testified that he turned in the paperwork four years ago, choosing nitrous oxide as the method of execution, and placing it in a slot in the door of his cell at the Holman Correctional Institution for prison staff to collect.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge R. Austin Huffaker Jr. issued a preliminary injunction preventing the state from killing Miller by any means other than nitrogen anoxia after finding that Miller was “very likely” “filed in a timely manner.” Election forms, even though the state says it has no actual records of any kind.”
The Supreme Court ruling on Thursday night reversed the ban at the request of the state government. The judge lifted the moratorium around 9 p.m., giving the state a three-hour window to begin executions before the death warrant expires at midnight.The July Execution of Joe Nathan James It took more than three hours to start after the state struggled to establish an IV line.
Although Alabama has authorized nitrogen hypoxia as a method of execution, it has never been used to execute anyone, and the state’s prison system has not finalized procedures for using it to carry out executions.
Nitrogen anoxia is a proposed method of execution in which death is caused by forcing a prisoner to breathe only nitrogen, thereby depriving him or her of the oxygen he or she needs to maintain bodily functions. It was authorized as a method of execution in three states, but none attempted to execute prisoners by untested methods. Alabama officials told the judge they were working to finalize a deal.
In recent years, many states have struggled to buy execution drugs after drug companies in the U.S. and Europe began blocking the use of their products in lethal injections. This has led some to seek alternatives.
When Alabama approved nitrogen hypoxia as a method of execution in 2018, state law gave prisoners a brief window to designate it as their method of execution. Miller testified that when the forms were handed out to death row, he chose nitrogen because he didn’t like needles.
“The state is not ready to execute anyone for nitrogen deficiency, but that doesn’t mean that commemorating Miller’s timely election for lack of oxygen will harm the state or the public. By contrast, if the injunction is not issued, Miller would be irrevocably Take away his choice of how he will die — a choice that the Alabama Legislature has given him,” Huffak wrote.
Miller’s family and a lawyer visited Thursday as he waited to see if his execution would go ahead. He was given a food tray with meatloaf, chuckwagon steak, macaroni and French fries, the prison system said.
Prosecutors say Miller was a delivery truck driver who killed colleagues Lee Holdbrooks and Scott Yancey at a business in suburban Birmingham before driving to a business where Miller previously worked Shots were fired at former supervisor Terry Jarvis. Each was shot multiple times, and Miller was caught after a freeway chase.
Trial testimony indicated that 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 was not sufficient to warrant a defense of insanity under state law.
This story has been corrected to show that the last execution in Alabama was in July.