US Supreme Court authorizes execution of Alabama prisoner
© WikiMedia (Ken Piorkowski)
US Supreme Court authorizes execution of Alabama prisoner

The US Supreme Court Thurday ruled 5-4 that Alabama may carry out the death sentence of inmate Alan Miller through lethal injection rather than Miller’s requested method of nitrogen hypoxia. The Supreme Court lifted a lower court order that would have required Alabama to use nitrogen hypoxia instead of the lethal injection. Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Amy Coney Barrett, and Ketanji Brown Jackson dissented. 

Miller requested to be executed by nitrogen hypoxia after Alabama passed a law giving prisoners the choice between the two execution methods. The state alleged that Miller never made the request and planned to execute him by lethal injection. Miller filed suit against Alabama and a lower court judge sided with Miller.

Miller’s execution was set for Thursday night. After prison officials tried to insert an intravenous line multiple times without success, Miller’s death warrant expired at midnight. On Friday, A judge granted Miller’s lawyers motion to take photographic evidence of the botched procedure. Miller’s execution will now be rescheduled.