Alabama Corrections Commissioner John Hamm said the state halted Alan Miller’s scheduled execution after they determined they could not administer the lethal injection before the midnight deadline. Prison officials made that decision around 11:30 p.m. local time.
The last-minute delay came nearly three hours after the US Supreme Court cleared the way for the executions to begin.
“Due to time constraints due to delays in court proceedings, the execution was terminated when it was determined that the veins of the condemned prisoner could not be accessed according to protocol,” Hamm said.
Hamm stated that “access to the veins took a little longer than they expected.”
Miller was returned to his cell at a South Alabama prison.
The stay of Arthur Miller’s execution came after it took more than three hours to begin the execution of Joe Nathan James in July because there were difficulties in establishing an intravenous line.
Miller, was sentenced to death after being convicted of murdering three people in 1999.
An anti-death penalty group said the situation surrounding Mueller’s attempted lethal injection sounded similar to other “botched” executions.
The justices, in a 5-4 decision, lifted an injunction issued by a federal judge and upheld by the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which had blocked Mueller’s further execution.
Mueller’s lawyers said the state had lost paperwork requiring his execution to be carried out using nitrogen hypoxia, a method legally available to him but never before used in the US.