The US Supreme Court ruled Friday morning to allow Alabama to continue with its planned execution of Christopher Lee Price.
Price is a death row inmate convicted of murdering a pastor in 1991.
The 5-4 ruling occurred two hours after Price’s death warrant expiration at 12 AM EST Friday, so Alabama must now reapply to state courts for a new execution date.
Price’s appeal to the federal courts focused on Alabama’s use of lethal injection. Price wanted to use nitrogen gas for his execution because of the potential pain of lethal injection. The inmate claims that lethal injection could potentially be painful if done incorrectly.
Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the dissent, argued that the implementation of this ruling should be paused until the state of Alabama can make a decision regarding nitrogen gas executions. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined in Breyer’s dissent.