US Supreme Court issues temporary stay in Alabama execution

US Supreme Court issues temporary stay in Alabama execution

US Supreme Court issues temporary stay in Alabama execution

Tommy Arthur, 75, was pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m. CDT Friday following a lethal injection administered at a southwest Alabama prison, authorities said.

Arthur cried during his final statement and apologised to his four children, who watched their father die from a witness room. "I love you more than anything on earth", Arthur said, according to Horton.

Arthur was scheduled to be executed Thursday evening.

In November, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed Arthur's previous scheduled execution after he argued Alabama's lethal injection procedures amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.

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The lawyers have said that the midazolam, the opening sedative in Alabama's execution protocol, wouldn't properly stupefy him correctly before other drugs to stop his heart and lungs were injected into him. The petition asks the Alabama Department of Corrections if Arthur's attorney, one of his designated execution witnesses, could have access to a telephone during his execution for the sole objective of communication with the courts or co-counsel. In 2016, Arthur came especially close to the death chamber.

The execution was to have begun at 6 p.m. but was delayed by appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Both the state of Alabama and Arthur's lawyers have pointed to his case as an example of what they see wrong in death penalty cases.

The crime in question is the 1982 contract killing of Troy Wicker. At the time of Wicker's murder, Arthur was on a work release program while serving a life sentence for the 1977 murder of his sister-in-law. Investigators didn't believe her.

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"First of all, I would like to express my deepest sympathy for the family of Troy Wicker". After she was convicted of Wicker's murder and sentenced to life in prison, Judy changed her story and testified that she hired Arthur, her lover, to kill her husband and that he did so wearing a wig and makeup in an attempt to look like a black man.

Sherrie Stone made the statement at a news conference early Friday about an hour after her father, Tommy Arthur, received a lethal injection at a state prison in southwest Alabama.

Arthur maintains his innocence. His attorneys argued there was no DNA evidence or fingerprints recovered from the scene that implicated him in the killing.

Arthur, who had pleaded innocent, was first convicted in 1983, but that verdict was overturned on appeal, the News reported. A second conviction followed and also was overturned, but a third conviction stuck. That verdict was upheld. While he admitted to that murder, Arthur has maintained his innocence in the Wicker case.

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Arthur asked jurors to give him the death penalty. Attorneys with the state and victim' advocates disparaged Arthur as a con man who used perpetual litigation - after a pro bono legal team took his case - to avoid the death sentence for years, causing torturous delays for Wicker's remaining family. Arthur, who's execution has been postponed seven times, is facing an eighth date with the death chamber on Thursday, May 25, 2017. The judge rejected requests by Arthur's attorneys for more DNA testing at the time after ruling that Arthur had likely played a part in another inmate's confession to the crime.

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