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Alan Eugene Miller: Alabama suspends controversial execution at last minute

The state of Alabama’s execution by lethal injection of Alan Eugene Miller was halted after the inmate’s veins could not be searched within protocol time limits.

“Due to time constraints resulting from the delay in the court proceedings, the execution was canceled once it was determined that the condemned man’s veins could not be viewed in accordance with our protocol before the expiry of the death warrant,” said John Hamm, the commissioner. of the Alabama Department of Corrections, told reporters, according to al.com.

Miller was sentenced to death after a shooting in Shelby County on August 5, 1999 that left three men dead.

His execution was halted around 11:30 p.m. Thursday night. The state’s death warrant expired at midnight.

The 57-year-old was returned to his death row cell.

Officials escort murder suspect Alan Eugene Miller away from the Pelham City Jail in Alabama, August 5, 1999

(AP)

Mr Hamm said the families of the shooting victims had been notified that the executions had been halted.

Shortly after 9 p.m., the United States Supreme Court ruled that the state of Alabama had nearly three hours to carry out the execution before the death warrant expired.

According to Mr Hamm, staff began trying to determine the outline of Miller’s veins to administer the lethal injection, but the commissioner said he did not know how long staff had spent trying to find a vein. .

“I’m not sure…I wasn’t looking at that. We were more focused on when the court, the Supreme Court, sent its order. Before we start accessing the veins, we have other things to do that take time,” Hamm said, according to al.com.

“There are several things we need to do before we even start accessing the veins. And it was taking a little longer than expected,” he added under pressure from members of the media.

Republican Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said in a statement that “in Alabama, we are committed to upholding 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 in this case and rendered a decision.”

“It doesn’t change the fact that Mr. Miller never contested his crimes. And it doesn’t change the fact that three families are still grieving,” she added. “We all know full well that Michael Holdbrooks, Terry Lee Jarvis and Christopher Scott Yancey did not choose to die by gunshot to the chest. Tonight my prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims as they are forced to continue to relive the pain of their loss.

A spokeswoman for the governor said she “expects the execution to be reset at the earliest opportunity.”

The shootings for which Miller was convicted took place at two workplaces, at his current job and at a previous one. Mr Holdbrooks and Mr Yancy, aged 32 and 28 respectively, were killed at Ferguson Enterprises, and Mr Jarvis, 39, was killed at Post Airgas in Pelham.

Members of the press were taken to the William C Holman Correctional Institution for the execution at 10:34 p.m. and returned to the media center just before midnight, al.com reported.

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