An Alabama man convicted of killing three people in a workplace shooting in 1999 was spared the death penalty at 11 a.m. Thursday because his executioner could not find a vein for the lethal injection.
Alan Miller’s execution was called off at about 11:30 p.m. when prison officials decided the vein issue would keep them from meeting the midnight deadline, Alabama corrections commissioner John Hamm said.
Miller’s execution was approved by a last-minute decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Due to time constraints due to the delay in court proceedings, the execution was called off after it was determined that the convict’s veins were not accessible in accordance with our protocol before the death sentence expired,” the corrections commissioner said.
Miller was returned to his cell after the botched execution.
The convicted killer shot three people – Terry Jarvis, Lee Holdbrooks and Scott Yancy – in two separate shootings in August 1999.
During Miller’s trial, his lawyers focused on saving his life by portraying him as mentally incompetent and delusional, AL.com reported. The jury deliberated less than 30 minutes before convicting him for the murders and recommending that the judge impose a death sentence, the news channel reported.
After the botched execution, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said her prayers went out to the families of Miller’s three victims.
“Despite the circumstances that led to the cancellation of this execution, nothing changes the fact that a jury has heard the evidence of this case and made a decision,” Ivey said in a statement.
“We are all well aware that Michael Holdbrooks, Terry Lee Jarvis and Christopher Scott Yancey did not choose to die from bullets in the chest. Tonight I pray with the families and loved ones of the victims as they are forced to continue to relive the pain of their loss,” Ivey said.
A federal judge on Friday ordered Alabama to retain evidence related to the execution — and to allow Miller’s lawyers access to him, AL.com reported.
The state “will make immediate efforts to locate and preserve evidence related to the attempted execution, including but not limited to notes, emails, texts, and used medical supplies such as syringes, swabs, scalpels, and IV lines,” Judge Austin Huffaker wrote in the order.
With pole wires