The state of Alabama halted the execution of a prisoner Thursday at the last second after missing the death warrant deadline.
Alan Eugene Miller was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection or nitrogen hypoxia, an unproven and untested method Alabama officials were not confident of using, CNN reported. Officials called off the execution at approximately 11:30 p.m. because his veins could not be accessed before the midnight deadline, AL.com reported.
Members of the media arrived at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility to witness the execution at 10:34 p.m., AL.com reported.
Miller was convicted and sentenced to death for a August 5, 1999 shooting spree that killed three men, AL.com reported.
The Supreme Court ruled that at approximately 9 p.m. that the state could proceed with his capital punishment sentence and gave them about three hours to perform the execution before the death warrant expired, AL.com reported.
BREAKING: In 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court ALLOWS Alabama to execute Alan Miller, whose lethal injection was scheduled for tonight. In a brief shadow-docket order, SCOTUS lifts a lower court’s injunction that had blocked the execution. Barrett joins the three liberals in dissent. pic.twitter.com/eewkFtwYCe
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) September 23, 2022
Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm told reporters the execution team attempted to access Miller’s veins to inject the three-drug lethal injection, according to AL.com. He met with the families of Miller’s three victims to notify them of the cancellation. (RELATED: Judge Halts Executions Of Two Death Row Inmates, Citing COVID-19 Infections)
Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statement to give her sympathies to the victims’ families.
“In Alabama, we are committed to law and order and upholding justice. 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,” the governor said. “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.”
A spokesperson for Ivey said the governor expects the execution to be reset at the earliest time possible, AL.com reported.