After a lengthy and time-crunched process attempting to execute Alan Eugene Miller, the State called off lethal injection because officials struggled to find a vein.
Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) Commissioner John Hamm said the State halted the scheduled execution of Alan Miller after determining they could not perform the injection before a midnight deadline. Prison officials made the decision at about 11:30 p.m. Thursday.
The last-minute call came nearly three hours after a divided U.S. Supreme Court had granted the State’s request to proceed with the execution.
“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.
Miller was sentenced after being convicted of murdering three coworkers in a shooting rampage. A defense psychiatrist said Miller was delusional and suffered from severe mental illness, which caused him to believe his coworkers were spreading rumors about his sexual orientation.
Gov. Kay Ivey released a statement just after midnight on Friday morning.
“In Alabama, we are committed to law and order and upholding justice,” Ivey declared. “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. 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.”
Miller has been embattled with ADOC for some time while trying to secure an untried method of execution.
Miller has continuously requested to be put to death by nitrogen hypoxia, a means of execution that the State is currently preparing.
Miller claims he requested execution by nitrogen hypoxia in 2018, but his request was mishandled by prison staff, a claim denied by ADOC officials.
ADOC told a federal judge last week that Alabama “has completed many of the preparations necessary for conducting executions by nitrogen hypoxia” but is currently incapable of carrying it out.
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