Death Row triple-murderer’s execution halted as medics botch injection 18 times

A man put on Death Row after being charged with killing three men in a workplace shooting in 1999 avoided execution after doctors botched his lethal injection at least 18 times.

Alabama's prison commissioner reportedly said that the lethal injection did not go ahead because they had trouble finding Alan Eugene Miller's veins.

In an embarrassing turn of events, officials were forced to postpone the execution of the triple-murderer on September 22.

READ MORE: Death Row Killer seeking nitrogen death enjoyed last meal despite cancelled execution

Commissioner of the Department of Corrections John Hamm blamed "time constraints resulting from the lateness of the court proceedings" as the reason for the delays.

He said: "The execution was called off once it was determined the condemned inmate’s veins could not be accessed in accordance with our protocol before the expiration of the death warrant."

After the execution attempt Miller's lawyers filed an emergency motion to grant them access to their client so they could take photographs of his injuries.

Miller, 57, murdered three men in a workplace shooting in 1999 in Birmingham, Alabama.

The lead-up to the attempted execution was described as "Kafkaesque" due to the handling of Miller's request to be executed through nitrogen hypoxia instead of lethal injection.

Miller had claimed a fear of needles, which also led to the halting of his execution by lethal injection.

Miller's lawyers, applying for a stay of execution, said: "The State’s new, Kafkaesque argument in favour of forcing an illegal execution tonight is that the truth of whether Mr Miller timely submitted his nitrogen hypoxia election form does not matter."

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In a deposition, Miller said according to "You know, it’s my life. And I know I didn’t want to be stabbed with needles and everything like that.

"I thought it would be simpler. I wouldn’t be stabbed like that or have allergic reactions to the chemicals that they said was in the lethal injection."

US District Judge R. Austin Huffaker issued an injunction blocking Alabama from carrying out the execution, but the decision was overturned.

He 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."

The Alabama Department of Corrections said it was not ready to use the untried method and federal courts said it was likely Alabama officials had lost the paperwork.

As a result, the state appealed to the US Supreme Court which argued in favour of Alabama in a 5-4 decision and the execution attempt went ahead.


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