Alabama execution canceled as death warrant expires after ‘vein access issues’

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Hours after a divided US Supreme Court approved, the state of Alabama overturned the execution of Alan Eugene Miller, citing issues with access to his veins and time constraints.

Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) Commissioner John Hamm said there were issues accessing Miller’s veins and the lethal injection protocol was not going to be completed until the death warrant expires at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, according to Fox 6 in Birmingham.

Miller is believed to be alive and back in his cell at Holman Correctional Facility. Hamm also told the media that an ambulance had left the prison, but that had nothing to do with the execution, the newspaper reported.

Alan Miller is on death row in Alabama.
(Alabama Department of Corrections)

Governor Kay Ivey released a statement early Friday morning shortly after ADOC announced the execution had been called off. Ivey’s office said she expects the execution to be reset at the earliest opportunity.

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“In Alabama, we are committed to law and order and the upholding of justice. Despite the circumstances that led to this execution being overturned, nothing will change the fact that a jury heard the evidence of this case and made a decision,” Ivey said. “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. We all know full well that Michael Holdbrooks, Terry Lee Jarvis and Christopher Scott Yancey did not choose to die. by bullets in the chest.”

She added: “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.”

The execution by lethal injection was finally approved by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling Thursday night after lower courts previously ruled against the execution. The point of contention was a claim by Miller’s attorneys that the state had lost documents requesting an alternative method of execution.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall argued there was no evidence to back up the claim and asked a federal appeals court earlier in the week to lift the injunction blocking the execution.

ALABAMA ASK FEDERAL COURT OF APPEALS TO LET IT PROCEED WITH DEADLY INJECTION THIS WEEK

Miller was sentenced to death after a jury found him guilty of capital murder in the deaths of Lee Holdbrooks, Christopher Scott Yancy and Terry Jarvis on August 5, 1999 in Shelby County, a suburb of Birmingham.

Working as a delivery truck driver at the time, Miller allegedly shot and killed Holdbrooks and Yancy at Ferguson Enterprises in Pelham before driving a few miles to Post Airgas, a former employer, and killing Jarvis, according to the Alabama News. Network.

FILE - The sun sets behind Holman Prison in Atmore, Alabama on January 27, 2022.

FILE – The sun sets behind Holman Prison in Atmore, Alabama on January 27, 2022.
(AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

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Each man was shot multiple times, and Miller was captured after a freeway chase.

Testimony at trial indicated that Miller killed the men because he believed they were spreading rumors about him, including that he was gay. A hired defense psychiatrist found Miller suffered from delusions and severe mental illness, but said his condition was not serious enough to form the basis of an insanity defense under state law. , according to court documents.

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Miller was to be the state’s third execution of the year after Matthew Reeves in January and Joe Nathan James Jr. in late July.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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