Alabama halts Alan Miller's execution with just minutes before deadline

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By Phoebe Egoroff

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The US state of Alabama halted a death row prisoner's execution just minutes before he was set to undergo lethal injection on Thursday (September 22).

Alan Miller, 57, had been in prison since a late 90s rampage that saw him kill three men and receive a death sentence.

He was due to be executed by lethal injection at midnight before prison officials had to call it off at 11:30PM due to time concerns and issues locating his veins, CBS News reported.

"Due to the time constraints resulting in the lateness of the court proceedings, the execution was called off once it was determined the condemned's veins could not be accessed in accordance with our protocol before the expiration of the death warrant," said John Hamm, Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner, per CNN.

NPR reported that attorneys acting on behalf of Miller alleged the state had lost paperwork pertaining to his request to be executed through use of nitrogen hypoxia - which has not yet been used in the US.

This method was approved by Alabama in 2018, however, the state only gave death row prisoners a small window of opportunity to choose this method of execution. Per NPR's report, Miller had actually filled out this paperwork in 2018, placing the completed documents in his cell door slot for corrections officers to collect. His attorneys have claimed these papers were misplaced by the state.

Miller's execution was given the green light just three hours before by the U.S. Supreme Court, who voted 5-4 to lift a previous Court of Appeals injunction that blocked it from going forward.

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Credit: SupremeCourt.gov

In 1999, Miller was convicted of fatally shooting three of his coworkers - Lee Michael Holdbrooks, Christopher S. Yancy, and Terry Lee Jarvis. During his criminal trial, an expert forensic psychiatrist deemed Miller to have been suffering from intense delusions that caused him to believe his coworkers were gossiping about him behind his back, CNN detailed.

However, according to Alabama criminal law, this did not meet the requirements for a defence of insanity.

After the execution was halted, Governor Kay Ivey said in a statement obtained by CNN: "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.

"It does not change the fact that Mr. Miller never disputed his crimes. And it does not change the fact that three families still grieve."

Ivey also noted that the execution would go ahead at the earliest opportunity.

Miller's halted execution comes several months after the execution of Joe Nathan James in July took over three hours, due to apparent difficulties creating an intravenous line.

Featured image credit: Image Source / Alamy

Alabama halts Alan Miller's execution with just minutes before deadline

vt-author-image

By Phoebe Egoroff

Article saved!Article saved!

The US state of Alabama halted a death row prisoner's execution just minutes before he was set to undergo lethal injection on Thursday (September 22).

Alan Miller, 57, had been in prison since a late 90s rampage that saw him kill three men and receive a death sentence.

He was due to be executed by lethal injection at midnight before prison officials had to call it off at 11:30PM due to time concerns and issues locating his veins, CBS News reported.

"Due to the time constraints resulting in the lateness of the court proceedings, the execution was called off once it was determined the condemned's veins could not be accessed in accordance with our protocol before the expiration of the death warrant," said John Hamm, Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner, per CNN.

NPR reported that attorneys acting on behalf of Miller alleged the state had lost paperwork pertaining to his request to be executed through use of nitrogen hypoxia - which has not yet been used in the US.

This method was approved by Alabama in 2018, however, the state only gave death row prisoners a small window of opportunity to choose this method of execution. Per NPR's report, Miller had actually filled out this paperwork in 2018, placing the completed documents in his cell door slot for corrections officers to collect. His attorneys have claimed these papers were misplaced by the state.

Miller's execution was given the green light just three hours before by the U.S. Supreme Court, who voted 5-4 to lift a previous Court of Appeals injunction that blocked it from going forward.

wp-image-1263170153 size-full
Credit: SupremeCourt.gov

In 1999, Miller was convicted of fatally shooting three of his coworkers - Lee Michael Holdbrooks, Christopher S. Yancy, and Terry Lee Jarvis. During his criminal trial, an expert forensic psychiatrist deemed Miller to have been suffering from intense delusions that caused him to believe his coworkers were gossiping about him behind his back, CNN detailed.

However, according to Alabama criminal law, this did not meet the requirements for a defence of insanity.

After the execution was halted, Governor Kay Ivey said in a statement obtained by CNN: "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.

"It does not change the fact that Mr. Miller never disputed his crimes. And it does not change the fact that three families still grieve."

Ivey also noted that the execution would go ahead at the earliest opportunity.

Miller's halted execution comes several months after the execution of Joe Nathan James in July took over three hours, due to apparent difficulties creating an intravenous line.

Featured image credit: Image Source / Alamy