Court stays Alabama execution to decide on use of drug
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – An appellate court has halted an Alabama execution scheduled for next week.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday granted the emergency stay to Robert Melson. The court halted the execution as it decides appeals from Melson and other inmates who claim the sedative midazolam that is used by Alabama will not render them unconscious before other drugs stop their lungs and heart.
Melson was scheduled to be executed June 8 for killing three Gadsden restaurant employees during a 1994 robbery.
Melson’s lawyers wrote in a Friday motion that the state “botched” a December execution in which the inmate coughed and moved for 13 minutes.
The attorney general’s office had asked the appellate court to let the execution proceed, arguing courts have approved the drug’s use.