Alan Miller had his last meal before he knew whether he would be executed, local news outlets reported. The 57-year-old Alabama man was convicted of killing three people in 1999, and his execution was the matter of a legal battle that lasted until the moments before his death warrant expired. Just minutes before he was set to be executed, his execution was delayed again, according to local news reports.
The delay occurred because of “issues accessing Miller’s veins,” CBS 42 reporter Lee Hedgepeth wrote on Twitter from a press conference. Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm addressed the media briefly outside the prison at about 12:30 a.m. An ambulance was also seen leaving the prison, reporters wrote on Twitter from the scene.
“Miller is alive, back in his cell. The state had issues establishing IV access with Miller, per ADOC commissioner,” Montgomery Advertiser reporter Evan Mealins wrote on Twitter.
He was set to be executed tonight, September 22, 2022, after a U.S. Supreme Court decision came shortly before a midnight deadline. Miller had asked to be executed by nitrogen hypoxia, a move the state would not allow, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. Read more about the execution method and why it is controversial here.
Miller was convicted of killing Christopher Yancy, Lee Holdbrooks and Terry Jarvis, according to WTRF.
Here’s what you need to know about Miller’s final hours:
Miller Spent His Last Hours Eating Chuckwagon Steak & Meatloaf, & Visiting With Family Members
Alabama Department of Corrections officials released information on Miller’s final hours to WTRF and other local news outlets. The news station reported he had 10 visitors over the last 24 hours, mainly family members.
Miller requested two kinds of meat and two kinds of potatoes for his last meal, the Montgomery Advertiser reported. His last meal was meatloaf, chuckwagon steak, American cheese, French fries, applesauce, instant potatoes, macaroni, apples and “Orange Drink,” the newspaper reported.
The document sent to media included a note at the top that said, “The condemned inmate is allowed access to a television, a telephone, his/her mail, and a Bible or its equivalent,” according to the Montgomery Advertiser.
Yesterday, September 21, 2022, he had four visitors and a phone call with his attorney, according to WTRF. On the day his death warrant was set to expire, he had six visitors, WTRF reported. The visitors included two brothers, his sister, his uncle, his sister-in-law and his attorney, WTRF reported.
He has a right to six witnesses to his execution, WTRF reported. One of the witnesses he listed is Elizabeth Bruenig, a reporter for The Atlantic who witnessed the independent autopsy of Joe Nathan James, the news outlet reported. His execution earlier in 2022 “garnered nationwide criticism,” WTRF reported. James, who was also executed in Alabama, “suffered a long death” at his execution, she reported in her article published August 14, 2022.
‘What’s the Emergency? Mr. Miller Isn’t Going Anywhere,’ His Lawyers Argued as the Deadline Drew Closer
Miller, 57, says he requested to be executed by nitrogen hypoxia in 2018 because of a fear of needles, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. He also had employment experience working with chemicals, he said, according to the newspaper. However, state officials said they had no record Miller made the election to be executed by nitrogen hypoxia, the Montgomery Advertiser reported. He accused state officials of losing the paperwork he said he submitted through prison staff, the newspaper said.
The subject became a matter of legal debate after the state said it would not execute Miller with nitrogen hypoxia.
“Miller’s execution by lethal injection had been blocked by a federal court injunction earlier this week, but lawyers for the state successfully appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which provided no written reasons for its decision to allow the execution to move forward,” WTRF reported.
Miller’s lawyers filed a response to the state’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court just four hours before Miller’s death warrant was set to expire, according to WTRF. His lawyers argued the U.S. Supreme court should not vacate the lower court’s ruling. His lawyers argued there should be no rush to execute Miller, according to WTRF.
“What is the emergency? The State of Alabama wants to proceed…tonight,” his lawyer’s wrote, according to WTRF. “Mr. Miller is not going anywhere, and neither is the Alabama Department of Corrections.”
Just before 9:30 p.m., the state attorney general’s office told the Alabama Department of Corrections it could proceed with the execution, according to WTRF.
“It’s a go,” a spokesperson told the news outlet.
But as the minutes ticked down to midnight, reporters who were on the list to witness the execution said there had been another delay.
“NEW: We are back on the [van.] We were never let into the prison,” Montgomery Advertiser Reporter Evan Mealins wrote on Twitter at 11:46 p.m. “State may have abandoned the execution but we are waiting for confirmation.”
Miller has been in prison at Holman on death row for more than 22 years, according to his inmate record from the Alabama Department of Corrections. He is kept in close custody, the DOC reported.
Here is his inmate record:
Miller was sent to Holman, the prison that houses the state’s death row, in 2000. He was sent from the committing county of Shelby, his inmate record says.