(NewsGlobal.com)- Last Thursday, Alabama officials called off the execution of Alan Miller over time concerns and difficulty accessing his veins, just hours after the Supreme Court lifted a previous injunction.
The state halted Miller’s scheduled execution after they determined they couldn’t get the lethal injection underway before the midnight deadline.
Miller’s last-minute reprieve came just hours after the Supreme Court cleared the way for his execution by injection rather than by nitrogen hypoxia, the method Miller had requested.
Alabama Corrections Commissioner John Hamm said due to the time constraints from the lateness of the court ruling, Miller’s execution was called off Thursday night once they determined his veins could not be accessed “in accordance with our protocol” before the death warrant expired.
When Alabama initially approved the use of nitrogen hypoxia in 2018, state law granted inmates a brief window to designate its use in their executions.
Miller had previously testified that he turned in the paperwork 4 years ago requesting nitrogen hypoxia and put the documents in a cell door slot for a prison worker to collect. Prison officials said they have no record of Miller returning the form and alleged that Miller was trying to delay his execution.
US District Judge R. Austin Huffaker issued the preliminary injunction last Tuesday blocking the state from executing Miller by lethal injection. But in a 5-4 decision last Thursday, the Supreme Court lifted the injunction that blocked Miller’s execution.
Nitrogen hypoxia causes death by forcing the inmate to breathe only nitrogen, depriving him of oxygen. It is currently an authorized execution method in three states. However, no state has put an inmate to death by this method.
While Alabama authorized the use of nitrogen hypoxia, the state’s prison system hasn’t finalized procedures for using it in executions.
Miller was sentenced to death for the murders of three former and contemporary co-workers whom he shot to death in 1999.
The state said his execution will be rescheduled at the “earliest opportunity.”