The state is not prepared to use nitrogen hypoxia as an alternative method of execution, according to Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm.
“The ADOC cannot carry out an execution by nitrogen hypoxia on September 22, 2022,” stated Hamm in an affidavit filed in federal court Thursday.
The case at hand involves next Thursday’s scheduled execution of Alan Eugene Miller, who is on death row for the 1999 shooting of three men during a workplace rampage in Shelby County.
Miller, 57, is set to be executed via lethal injection. He is being held at William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore.
Hamm’s decision comes after a federal judge sought clarification from corrections officials regarding Alabama’s readiness to use the alternative method.
Attorneys representing Miller are seeking to block the convicted murderer’s execution, claiming that the state lost his paperwork requesting that he be put to death via nitrogen hypoxia.
A state attorney Monday told the court Alabama was preparing to use nitrogen hypoxia, an untried form of execution.
“The protocol is there, but I won’t say it’s final,” Deputy State Attorney General James Houts previously told the court, according to USA Today.
If the alternative method is used, the prisoner would experience asphyxiation by breathing pure nitrogen to replace the oxygen in his body until pronounced dead.
Miller’s request for a preliminary injunction against his planned execution is being considered by U.S. District Judge R. Austin Huffaker Jr.
Miller is set to become the 224th inmate put to death by the state.
Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL