Alabama could be ready to use a new, untried execution method called nitrogen hypoxia to carry out a death sentence later this month

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — According to what a state attorney stated to a federal judge on Monday, the state of Alabama may be prepared to carry out a death sentence later this month using a novel and untested execution method known as nitrogen hypoxia.

The execution of Alan Eugene Miller is currently scheduled to take place by lethal injection on September 22. James Houts, a deputy state attorney general, stated before U.S. District Judge R. Austin Huffaker Jr. that it is “very likely” that the method will be available for the execution of Alan Eugene Miller.

According to him, the Corrections Commissioner, John Hamm, is the one who will ultimately decide whether or not to employ the new system, and he anticipates that this will lead to litigation.

What you need to know about the execution of death sentences around the country

Nitrogen hypoxia is a method of execution that has been legalized in Alabama and two other states but has never been utilized. This method involves replacing oxygen with nitrogen, which is meant to result in death.

Miller, who was convicted of killing three people in 1999, is currently attempting to halt his execution at the Holman Prison. Throughout a court hearing on Miller’s claim that prison officials misplaced his paperwork several years ago, it came to light that there is a chance of employing the new way. This took place during the hearing. In it, he asked for his death to be carried out using nitrogen rather than through injection of a poison.

Houts reported to the judge that the state had made every effort to get Miller to wear a mask that would allow him to inhale nitrogen, but the inmate ultimately decided against doing so.

Miller’s attorney, Mara Klebaner, stated that the inmate’s legal team need additional information regarding the nitrogen process and would not agree to its use without having more details. She stated that the attorneys representing Miller do not want him to be used as a guinea pig for an execution procedure that has not been tried before.

Miller, who was present in court for the evidentiary hearing, was anticipated to provide testimony at some point during the proceeding.

Miller, a delivery truck driver, was found guilty of murder in connection with workplace shootings in suburban Birmingham that resulted in the deaths of Lee Holdbrooks, Scott Yancy, and Terry Jarvis. According to the evidence, Miller shot both Holdbrooks and Yancy at the same place of business before driving to a different site to kill Jarvis.

According to the testimony, Miller was suffering from delusions and believed the men were spreading falsehoods about him, including the notion that he was gay. According to a psychiatrist who worked for the defense team, Miller suffered from serious mental illness; nonetheless, his condition was not severe enough to be used as the foundation for an insanity defense under state law.

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