Alan Miller, sentenced to die for a 1999 workplace shooting, says he requested to be executed by nitrogen hypoxia but that the state lost his paperwork request. A federal judge blocked Alabama from executing him saying, ““Miller will likely suffer irreparable injury if an injunction does not issue because he will be deprived of the ability to die by the method he chose and instead will be forced to die by a method he sought to avoid and which he asserts will be painful,” Huffaker wrote. The injury will be, “the loss of his ‘final dignity’—to choose how he will die,” the judge added.
Nitrogen hypoxia is a proposed execution method in which death would be caused by forcing the inmate to breathe only nitrogen, thereby depriving him or her of the oxygen needed to maintain bodily functions. In 2018 when Alabama approved this method of execution they gave inmates a brief opportunity to request execution using this method. However, Alabama is not quite ready to execute inmates using this method. It is possible that Alabama may be ready to use nitrogen hypoxia in the coming weeks.
My issue is with the judge’s reasoning. He is concerned about Miller’s loss of dignity and his not being able to choose how he died. Excuse me but Boo “freaken” hoo. Miller is a convicted murderer. He killed three people at work. I am sure they did not choose to show up to work and be killed. It is quite possible they begged for their life and may have died in an undignified manner.
I am not saying we should not treat prisoners humanely. I am not even making an argument for capital punishment. I am saying I am sure he exhausted all of his legal means to delay his execution. To even get a stay of execution. They failed.
True it could be just a few weeks until Alabama is ready to use nitrogen hypoxia. We could wait the few weeks. Maybe I am not in a forgiving mood as I write this but I am sure Miller’s victims would have loved a few more weeks. They did not get to appeal their execution.
Our jails are over crowded. Let’s free up some space and give Miller’s victims’ families the closure they need and not drag this out.