The execution by lethal injection of Alan Eugene Miller by the state of Alabama has been halted after the inmate’s veins couldn’t be accessed within protocol time restrictions.

“Due to the time constraints resulting in the lateness of the court proceedings, the execution was called off once it was determined the condemned’s veins could not be accessed in accordance with our protocol before the expiration of the death warrant,” John Hamm, the Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections, told the press, according to

Miller was sentenced to death after a shooting in Shelby County on 5 August 1999 that lead to the deaths of three men.

His execution was halted at around 11.30pm on Thursday night. The state’s death warrant expired at midnight.

The 57-year-old was sent back to his cell on death row.

Mr Hamm said the families of the victims in the shooting had been made aware of the execution halt.

Shortly after 9pm, the US Supreme Court ruled that the state of Alabama had almost three hours to carry out the execution before the expiration of the death warrant.

According to Mr Hamm, the staff began trying to determine the outline of Miller’s veins to administer the lethal injection, but the commissioner said he was unsure how much time the staff spent attempting to find a vein.

“I’m not sure… I wasn’t looking at that. We were more focused on the time that the court, the Supreme Court, sent their order. Before we start accessing veins, we have other things we have to do that take time,” Mr Hamm said, according to

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