Alabama officials halted the lethal injection execution of a death row prisoner because they couldn’t find a vein before the midnight deadline.

Alabama Corrections Commissioner John Hamm said the decision to cancel Alan Miller’s scheduled execution was made after it became clear they could not start the trial in time.

The last-minute suspension came nearly three hours after the US Supreme Court paved the way for the execution.

“Due to time constraints resulting from the delay in the judicial process, the execution was canceled once it was established that it was not possible to access the veins of the convicted inmate in accordance with our protocol before the death sentence expired,” he said. Hamm.

The execution team had begun the process of attempting to establish intravenous access, but did not know for how long.

The execution was suspended at around 11:30 pm on Thursday, half an hour before the state’s death sentence expired.

Miller, a delivery truck driver, was convicted of killing three men in a workplace shooting in 1999 near Birmingham, Alabama.

The 57-year-old had opted for nitrogen hypoxia instead of lethal injection due to the fear of needles, but his lawyers said officials lost his documents.

The technique is legally available to him, but has never been used in the United States.

It would cause death by forcing the inmate to breathe only nitrogen, depriving him of the oxygen necessary to maintain bodily functions.

When Alabama approved nitrogen hypoxia as an execution method in 2018, state law gave inmates a short window to designate it as an execution method.

Miller said he turned in the documents four years ago by selecting nitrogen hypoxia, placing the documents in a crack in his cell door at the Holman Correctional Facility for a prison worker to collect.

His execution by any other means was blocked by a federal judge on Tuesday after finding “substantially likely” that Miller “had submitted a timely ballot form even though the state claims it has no physical record of a form.”

However, the Supreme Court justices – in a 5-4 decision – overturned an injunction that had blocked the execution of the lethal injection.

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