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Execution delayed after failed attempt to access inmate’s veins

The saga over Alabama’s planned execution of Alan Eugene Miller will continue after Friday night’s effort to carry out his death sentence failed.

The attempt to execute Miller was unsuccessful due to difficulty accessing the inmate’s veins, according to The Associated Press. Miller, 57, was convicted for murdering three men in a 1999 Shelby County workplace rampage.

Lawyers representing the convicted murderer have been engaged in a legal battle with the state over Miller’s claim that prison officials lost his paperwork requesting an alternate form of execution.

Miller’s request to be put to death via nitrogen hypoxia rather than lethal injection was ultimately unsuccessful because the state was unprepared to use the untried method.

This week, a federal judge and the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the state could not move forward with Miller’s execution. The state then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which determined in a Thursday night 5-4 ruling that the execution could proceed.

According to a state attorney, execution proceedings began Thursday around 10 p.m. After multiple attempts to locate Miller’s veins, the execution team halted the effort at 11:20, failing to meet the death warrant’s midnight deadline.

Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm told reporters Friday morning the state did not have the time available to carry out the sentence before the warrant’s expiration.

“Due to time constraints resulting from the lateness of the court proceedings, 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,” said Hamm, according to the outlet.

U.S. District Judge R. Austin Huffaker Jr. ordered the state Friday to preserve all records and medical supplies relevant to the attempted execution, AP reported.

Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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