sunny.png
Tuesday November 29th, 2022 3:50PM

Alabama halts execution because of time, IV access concerns

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — 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 the state halted the scheduled execution of Alan Miller after they determined they could not get the lethal injection underway before a midnight deadline. Prison officials made the decision at about 11:30 p.m. The last-minute reprieve came nearly three hours after a divided U.S. Supreme Court had cleared the way for the execution to begin.

“Due to time constraints resulting from the lateness of the court proceedings, the execution was called off once it was determined the condemned inmate’s veins could not be accessed in accordance with our protocol before the expiration of the death warrant,” Hamm said.

Hamm said "accessing the veins was taking a little bit longer than we anticipated." He did not know how long the team tried to establish a connection, but noted there are a number of procedures to be done before the team begins trying to connect the IV line.

Miller was returned to his regular cell at a south Alabama prison.

The aborted execution came after the state's July execution of Joe Nathan James took more than three hours to get underway after the state had difficulties establishing an intravenous line, leading to accusations that the execution was botched.

Miller, 57, was sentenced to death after being convicted of a 1999 workplace rampage in which he killed Terry Jarvis, Lee Holdbrooks and Scott Yancy.

“Despite the circumstances that led to the cancellation of this execution, nothing will change the fact that a jury heard the evidence of this case and made a decision," Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement. She added that three families are still grieving.

“We all know full well that Michael Holdbrooks, Terry Lee Jarvis and Christopher Scott Yancey did not choose to die by bullets to the chest. Tonight, my prayers are with the victims’ families and loved ones as they are forced to continue reliving the pain of their loss,” Ivey said.

An anti-death penalty group said the situation with Miller's attempted lethal injection sounded similar to other “botched” executions.

"It is hard to see how they can persist with this broken method of execution that keeps going catastrophically wrong, again and again. In its desperation to execute, Alabama is experimenting on prisoners behind closed doors — surely the definition of cruel and unusual punishment,” Maya Foa, director of Reprieve US Forensic Justice Initiative, a human rights group opposed to the death penalty, said in a statement.

Prosecutors said Miller, a delivery truck driver, killed co-workers Holdbrooks and Yancy at a business in suburban Birmingham and then drove off to shoot former supervisor 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 Miller suffered from severe mental illness and delusions but also said Miller’s condition wasn’t bad enough to use as a basis for an insanity defense under state law.

Justices in a 5-4 decision lifted an injunction — issued by a federal judge and left in place by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — that had blocked Miller's execution from going forward. Miller’s attorneys said the state lost the paperwork requesting his execution be carried out using nitrogen hypoxia, a method legally available to him but never before used in the U.S.

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

U.S. District Judge R. Austin Huffaker Jr. issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday 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.”

Nitrogen hypoxia is a proposed execution method in which death would be caused by forcing the inmate to breathe only nitrogen, depriving him or her of the oxygen needed to maintain bodily functions. Nitrogen hypoxia is authorized for executions in three states but none have attempted to put an inmate to death using the 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.

___

This story was corrected to show Alabama’s last execution was in July, and corrects the name of the prisoner from Arthur to Alan Miller.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Alabama halts execution because of time, IV access 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
3:07AM ( 4 minutes ago )
'Crucial' vote could move Italy to right; many might boycott
Italian voters cast ballots on Sunday in an election that has been billed as crucial as Europe reels from the repercussions of war in Ukraine
2:50AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Panama launch of futuristic oceanfront home goes sideways
The unveiling of a futuristic luxury model home on Panama’s Caribbean coast tanked when the SeaPod Eco prototype perched above the water on a column slumped onto an adjacent dock
1:52AM ( 1 hour ago )
Associated Press (AP)
World opinion shifts against Russia as Ukraine worries grow
The tide of international opinion appears to have decisively shifted against Russia, as a number of non-aligned countries joined the United States and its allies in condemning Russia’s war in Ukraine and its threats to the principles of the international rules-based order
1:00AM ( 2 hours ago )
McCarthy unveils House GOP's big ideas, but challenges ahead
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy is rolling out his party's Trump-like midterm election agenda
12:52AM ( 2 hours ago )
Chinese man gets 24 years for brutal group attack on women
A court in northern China has sentenced one man to 24 years in jail for his leading role in a group beating of four women
12:17AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
US Supreme Court says Alabama can carry out execution
A divided U.S. Supreme Court says Alabama can proceed Thursday night with the execution of an inmate convicted in a 1999 workplace shooting
11:18PM ( 3 hours ago )
Biden vows US won't walk away from storm-struck Puerto Rico
President Joe Biden says the full force of the federal government is ready to help Puerto Rico recover from the devastation of Hurricane Fiona
11:14PM ( 3 hours ago )
Alabama asks US Supreme Court to let it carry out execution
A federal appeals court has rejected Alabama’s attempt to proceed with the scheduled evening execution of an inmate who claims the state lost his paperwork selecting an alternative to lethal injection
9:49PM ( 5 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
'Crucial' vote could move Italy to right; many might boycott
Italian voters cast ballots on Sunday in an election that has been billed as crucial as Europe reels from the repercussions of war in Ukraine
2:50AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Panama launch of futuristic oceanfront home goes sideways
The unveiling of a futuristic luxury model home on Panama’s Caribbean coast tanked when the SeaPod Eco prototype perched above the water on a column slumped onto an adjacent dock
1:52AM ( 1 hour ago )
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
1:48AM ( 1 hour ago )
Millennials, assembled: At UN, younger leaders rise
Millennial leaders are rising at the United Nations General Assembly
1:44AM ( 1 hour ago )
Moscow-held regions of Ukraine vote whether to join Russia
Voting has begun in Moscow-held regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia
1:36AM ( 1 hour ago )