An Alabama death row inmate had his September 22 execution halted last minute after prison commissioners said they couldn’t find his veins. Alan Eugene Miller, who has a fear of needles, had requested to have his life ended by nitrogen hypoxia, but that was refused. Nevertheless, he’s still alive today after this death warrant expired at midnight.
The execution of Alan Miller has been called off after issues accessing Miller’s veins, Alabama’s prisons commissioner has said.
— Lee Hedgepeth (@lee_hedgepeth) September 23, 2022
- Miller is on death row for murder. He killed three men back in the ’90s, two of whom were colleagues at his office as well as a third man who worked at a company where Miller was previously employed. While his defense attorneys claimed that he is “at best, very slow” and belonged at a mental health facility rather than a prison, he was convicted and sentenced to death.
- His execution was canceled with “minutes to spare.” Lawyers, family members, and members of the media had driven up to Alabama’s Holman Correctional Facility to report on the execution, which was given the go-ahead by the Supreme Court just after 9 p.m. However, as officials struggled to find the man’s veins through which to give him the lethal injection, it had to be abandoned altogether.
- Miller had requested to be executed by nitrogen hypoxia. The method has the prisoner breathe pure nitrogen, depriving them of oxygen until they die. However, a judge blocked that request due to the method not being ready yet in Alabama despite being approved in 2018. Because of this, US District Judge R. Austin Huffaker blocked Alabama from executing Miller in early September. “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,” Huffaker wrote in his decision.
- His execution stay was overturned after the Alabama Attorney General’s Office appealed to the US Supreme Court. “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,” reporter Lee Hedgepeth wrote on Twitter on Thursday night.
It remains to be seen what will now happen in terms of Miller’s execution.