MONTGOMERY, Ala –
An Alabama inmate said prison staff poked him with needles for more than an hour as they tried to find a vein in a lethal injection aborted last month. At one point, they let him hang vertically from a gurney before state officials made the decision to suspend the execution.
Attorneys for Alan Eugene Miller, 57, wrote about his experience during his execution in Alabama on September 22 in a court filing made last week. Miller’s attorneys are trying to stop the state from trying to inject the lethal drug a second time.
Two men in scrubs used needles to repeatedly probe Miller’s arms, legs, feet, and hands, at one point using cell phone flashlights to help them search for a vein, according to court filings dated October 6. Attorneys called Miller “the sole survivor of an execution in the United States” and said Alabama forced Miller to “exactly cause the cause.” unnecessary and unnecessary pain that the Eighth Amendment is intended to prohibit.”
Alabama asked the state Supreme Court to set a new date for Miller’s execution, saying it was only a matter of time because the state faces a midnight deadline to administer lethal injections. Deadly.
“Despite this failed execution, the physical and mental torture it inflicted on Mr. Miller, and the fact that Defendants have now carried out three lethal injection executions in just a single day. four years,
The defendants are constantly seeking to execute Mr. Miller again – perhaps by lethal injection,” Miller’s attorney wrote, referring to one execution that was aborted and another that took three hours. to be conducted.
“So, from Defendant’s point of view, is it legal to stab someone with a needle in an attempt to kill them?” his lawyer wrote.
The 351-pound (159-kilogram) inmate testified in a previous court hearing that paramedics had always had difficulty accessing his veins, and that’s why he wanted to die. by the nitrous oxide method, a newly approved method of execution. to try on.
Miller said he was led into the execution room at 10 p.m., about an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the lethality ban, and tied to a gurney around 10:15 p.m.
After the two men probed different parts of his body with a needle to find veins, also using a phone flashlight to help, Miller told the men, “he could felt that they were not reaching for his veins, but rather stabbing around his veins.” Then a third man began slapping his neck in an apparent attempt to find the vein.
According to court documents, three men wearing makeup remover clothes stopped probing and left the room after there was a loud knock on the death chamber window from the state observation room. A prison officer then raised the gurney to an upright position. Miller said the wall clock read 11:40 p.m. and he estimated he hung there for about 20 minutes before being released, and said his execution was aborted for the evening.
“Mr Miller felt nauseous, disoriented, confused and fearful about whether he was about to be killed, and was deeply confused when he saw state officials quietly watching him from the observation room while he was hanging upright over a pit of blood that had leaked from some of Mr. Miller’s wounds,” the motion stated.
Miller was sentenced to death after being convicted of a 1999 workplace manslaughter in which he killed Terry Jarvis, Lee Holdbrooks and Scott Yancy.
“Due to delays, the Alabama Department of Corrections is limited in the number of intravenous access attempts it can make. The ADOC has made the decision to halt the effort to obtain static access. circuit at approximately 11:30 p.m., resulting in the expiration of the court’s order of execution,” the state attorney general’s office wrote in the request for a new date.
This is at least the third time Alabama has admitted to problems with intravenous access when injecting lethal drugs. The state’s July execution of Joe Nathan James took more than three hours to proceed. Alabama suspended the execution of Doyle Hamm in 2018 after it failed to establish an intravenous line.