Friday 23 September 2022 09:17 AM Execution of Alabama killer Alan Miller abandoned after officials had trouble ... trends now
An Alabama man who was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection is still alive because officials could not find his vein before a midnight deadline to execute him.
Alan Miller, 57, who was convicted in a 1999 of killing three people in workplace rampage, is now enjoying an unscheduled reprieve in his cell after prison officials made the decision at about 11:30pm.
Alabama Corrections Commissioner John Hamm said the state halted the scheduled execution of Miller late Thursday after they determined they could not get the lethal injection underway before a midnight deadline.
'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.
The execution team at the Holman Correctional Facility began trying to establish intravenous access, but he did not know for how long. Miller had said previously how he was afraid of needles.
The confusion was compounded by a divided US Supreme Court decision which had cleared the way for the execution to begin less than three hours earlier.
Alan Eugene Miller, who shot three co-workers who he believed were spreading rumors about him, enjoyed an unexpected reprieve after prison officials could not find his veins in order to administer lethal injection before a midnight deadline
Alan Eugene Miller is seen being led away from the Pelham City Jail in Alabama on August 5, 1999. Miller was scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection on September 22, 2022 after a last minute decision by the Supreme Court cleared the way
Miller's lawyers had argued that Miller had requsted to be put to death using nitrogen hypoxia, that would be performed in the Alabama death chamber seen here, and that lethal injection was painful and inhumane
Supreme Court Justices in a 5-4 decision had 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 United States.
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.
Prison officials said they had no record of receiving the form and that Miller was just looking for ways to delay his execution.
He had explained that he preferred this method of execution because it reminded him of the nitrous oxide gas used at dentist offices, and that seemed better than lethal injection.
'I did not want to be stabbed with a needle,' Miller said.
US 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.'
Miller, a delivery truck driver, was sentenced to death after he killed co-workers Lee Holdbrooks and Scott Yancy at a business in suburban Birmingham, according to prosecutors.
Shelby County coroner's employees bring out one of two bodies from Ferguson Enterprises in Pelham, Alabama where two employees, Lee Holbrooks and Christopher Yancy were killed in August 1999 by Alan Eugene Miller
Miller shot two co-workers to death at their office then killed a third person at a company where he