Killer on death row with fear of needles has execution abandoned last minute

Aisha Nozari

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Killer on death row with fear of needles has execution abandoned last minute

Featured Image Credit: Alabama Department of Corrections / Norma Jean Gargasz / Alamy Stock Photo

A man on death row who killed three men back in the 90s had his execution abandoned on Thursday (22 September).

Alan Eugene Miller had asked to be executed by nitrogen hypoxia due to an alleged fear of needles, but prison commissioners in Alabama claimed they had trouble finding Miller’s veins.

Miller’s execution had been blocked earlier, but that decision was overturned at the 11th hour by the Supreme Court.

However, issues in the death chamber delayed Miller’s execution, and his death warrant expired at midnight. 

A man on death row who killed three men back in the 90s had his execution abandoned on Thursday. Credit: Alabama Department of Corrections
A man on death row who killed three men back in the 90s had his execution abandoned on Thursday. Credit: Alabama Department of Corrections

According to The Mirror, Miller’s execution was called off with just ‘minutes to spare’.

Members of the media were driven to Alabama’s Holman Correctional Facility and at 9.20pm, the Supreme Court announced that proceedings had been given the go-ahead.

Media, lawyers and family members were waiting to watch Miller’s execution take place before the warrant expired.

Although Miller had asked to be executed by nitrogen hypoxia because of his fear of needles, a judge blocked the killer’s decision, saying that the method of execution was not ready to be used in the state of Alabama. 

In 2018, Alabama approved nitrogen hypoxia as a method of execution, but it hadn’t been tried out yet. 

Miller claims that he submitted a form stating his choice of execution, however, state officials deny having seen the paper.

The Mirror reports that last week, the Alabama Department of Corrections also said it wasn’t ready to use nitrogen hypoxia.

Because of this, US District Judge R. Austin Huffaker blocked Alabama from putting Miller to death earlier this month.

Huffaker wrote: "Miller will likely suffer irreparable injury if an injunction does not issue because he will be deprived of the ability to die by the method he chose and instead will be forced to die by a method he sought to avoid and which he asserts will be painful."

Miller, who was sentenced to death after he was convicted of killing three men in a workplace shooting back in 1999, initially had his execution stay upheld, however, the Alabama Attorney General’s Office appealed to the US Supreme Court, and his execution by lethal injection was cleared. 

On Thursday night, reporter Lee Hedgepeth confirmed on Twitter: “Miller, who sentenced to death after he was convicted of killing three men in a workplace shooting back in 1999, initially had his execution stay upheld, however, the Alabama Attorney General’s Office appealed to the US Supreme Court, and his execution by lethal injection was cleared.”

UNILAD has contacted the Alabama Department of Corrections for comment.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected] 

Topics: News, US News, Crime

Aisha Nozari
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