Alan Eugene Miller was scheduled to be executed tonight after the US Supreme Court allowed execution by lethal injection on September 22, 2022. The decision was made less than three hours before midnight, but the execution was delayed again just minutes before midnight, according to local news reports. Miller had asked to be executed by nitrogen hypoxia, a request the state would not honor, according to local news outlets.
The delay came because of “problems accessing Miller’s veins,” according to CBS 42 reporter Lee Hedgepeth wrote on Twitter from a press conference. Alabama Department of Justice Commissioner John Hamm spoke to the media just outside the jail at around 12:30 p.m. An ambulance was also seen leaving the prison, reporters wrote on Twitter from the scene.
“Miller is alive, back in his cell. According to ADOC commissioner, state had trouble establishing IV access with Miller,” reporter from Montgomery Advertiser Evan Mealins wrote on Twitter.
You can see the decision of the US Supreme Court here. The execution should go ahead, according to WTRF, because the country’s highest court failed to provide written reasons for refusing the execution.
Miller was sentenced to death for the 1999 murders of Christopher Yancy, Lee Holdbrooks and Terry Jarvis, according to WTRF. Read about Miller’s last meal and the last few hours before the delay here.
The dramatic turn of events began with Miller’s request to be executed by nitrogen hypoxia. The Alabama Department of Corrections said a week before the scheduled execution date that it would not use the method because it had not been tried, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. A lower court ruled that the state could execute Miller using only the method of execution it chose.
“At 9:20 p.m., prison officials said they had received the green light from the attorney general’s office to begin proceedings,” reported the Montgomery Advertiser. “Media, family members who were not at the scene, and attorneys were to be taken to the death chamber at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama, to witness the execution.”
According to WTRF, he was on death row at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama.
Here’s what you need to know:
Miller, 57, said he sought execution by nitrogen hypoxia in 2018 over fear of needles, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. He has professional experience handling chemicals, he said, according to the newspaper. However, state officials said they had no record of Miller choosing to be executed by nitrogen hypoxia, the Montgomery Advertiser reported. According to the newspaper, he accused state officials of losing the paperwork he allegedly submitted through prison staff.
The issue became a legal debate after the state said it would not execute Miller with nitrogen hypoxia. Read more about the controversial method of execution here.
“Miller’s execution by lethal injection was blocked by a federal court injunction earlier this week, but state attorneys successfully appealed the case to the US Supreme Court, which failed to provide written reasons for its decision to allow the execution. ‘ WTRF reports.
Miller has been incarcerated on Holman’s death row for more than 22 years, according to his inmate file with the Alabama Department of Corrections. He is being held in close custody, the DOC reported.
Here is his inmate file:
Miller was transferred to Holman, the prison that houses the state’s death row, in 2000. He was sent from the Shelby Reception District, his inmate file says.
Miller’s attorneys filed a response to the state’s appeal in the US Supreme Court just four hours before Miller’s death sentence expired, according to WTRF. His attorneys argued that the US Supreme Court should not overturn the lower court’s decision. According to WTRF, his lawyers argued that there should be no rush to execute Miller.
“What is the emergency? The state of Alabama intends to … proceed tonight,” his attorney wrote, according to WTRF. “Mr. Miller isn’t going anywhere, and neither is the Alabama Department of Corrections.”
Just before 9:30 p.m., the attorney general’s office notified the Alabama Department of Justice that they could proceed with the execution, according to WTRF.
“It’s starting,” said a spokesman for the news agency.
In the minutes before midnight, witnesses were transported to prison for execution. But reporters on the witness list said there had been another delay.
“NEW: We’re back at the [van.] We were never allowed to go to jail,” said Montgomery ads reporter Evan Mealins wrote on Twitter at 11:46 p.m. “The state may have abandoned the execution, but we are awaiting confirmation.”
CONTINUE READING: Lisa Montgomery’s final words before execution: ‘No’