Convicted Murder Avoids Execution On Technicality

Prisoner

In Alabama, the execution of a death row inmate was halted Thursday evening due to a failure to meet protocol before midnight.

As a result of a US Supreme Court ruling earlier Thursday, Alan Eugene Miller was to be executed by lethal injection after a lower court injunction was vacated in a long-running dispute over whether Miller would die by nitrogen hypoxia, an untested and unproven method Alabama officials had said they were not ready to use.
However, state officials Thursday said they couldn’t access Miller’s veins within time limits after the Supreme Court ruled the execution could proceed by lethal injection.
“Due to the time constraints resulting in the lateness of the court proceedings, the execution was called off once it was determined it would not be possible to access the condemned’s veins in accordance with our protocol until after the death warrant expired,” said Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm, according to AL.com.
Hamm reported that Miller has been returned to his death row cell. Kay Ivey’s office said she anticipates the execution will be rescheduled at the earliest opportunity.
According to CNN, Hamm informed the victims’ families of the cancellation before meeting with the media.
“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.” Ivey said
Ivey added “It did not change the fact that Mr. Miller never disputed his crimes it does not change the fact that three families are still grieving.”
Miller was sentenced to death for the murders of Lee Michael Holdbrooks, Christopher S. Yancy, and Terry Lee Jarvis, each of whom was fatally shot.
A forensic psychiatrist testified for Miller’s defense that he suffered from delusional disorder and believed the victims spread rumors about him. Miller’s mental illness, however, did not meet the criteria for an insanity defense in Alabama.
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John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.