The U.S. state of Alabama plans to execute Alan Eugene Miller, sentenced to death for murder, by lethal injection on Sept. 22, 2022, even though the condemned man “chose” a different method of execution.
Miller’s defense has requested a court order blocking the scheduled execution. Austin Huffaker (U.S. District Judge) has given the condemned man until Monday to comment on why the prosecution’s request for his execution should not be granted.
In fact, in the past, those sentenced to death in Alabama have had the option to “choose” their method of execution. Currently, lethal injection is the standard method of killing in Alabama. However, in 2018, the state approved another method, nitrogen hypoxia, and gave prisoners a short window of time to “choose” between the two methods.
Miller “opted” for nitrogen hypoxia in mid-2018 and provided the relevant form to a correctional officer. The state, however, claims not to have received such a document and, to that extent, intends to murder Miller using the standard method.
In fact, Alabama does not yet have a protocol for carrying out an execution using nitrogen. In this respect, all prisoners who have “opted” for this method cannot be executed at this time. The prosecution is now trying to undermine this fact by claiming that they do not have a decision on Miller’s case.
The defense also argues that there have been problems with previous lethal injection executions, such as Joe Nathan James’ in June of this year. Opponents of the death penalty say this execution was botched. “The information that is publicly available to date shows that Mr. James’s body was in ‘great distress’ during the execution as executioners sliced into his skin several times to find a vein, and that he suffered many ‘unusual punctures’ that do not normally appear on an executed body,” Miller’s defense attorneys wrote.
Miller was convicted of a rampage. He killed Lee Holdbrooks, Scott Yancy and Terry Jarvis in Shelby County south of Birmingham. According to testimony, there was much to suggest that Miller acted delusionally because he believed the men were spreading rumors that he was gay.
Interesting detail on the side. Miller’s rampage is a frightening illustration of what sexual phobia, and in this particular case homophobia, can lead to. People with special sexuality, like homosexuals, are often severely hurt by homophobia already in childhood. Yes, in many circles here in Germany, for example, even the word “gay” is an adjective that has negative connotations, and even in completely different contexts. So one gets to hear again and again sentences like e.g.: “boah, what a gay car” if you don’t like the car and similar… So already children learn from the adults of the majority society that it is something very negative to be gay… This leads in many gay youths to suicide attempts, denial of their own identity and sometimes also to self-hatred….
This is the fuel for such tragedies as the killing spree of Alan Eugene Miller. That is at least the complicity of a part of the majority society in such terrible events… And exactly such people want to clear themselves with the execution of persons declared to be monsters, from their own arrogance and cruelty, their own guilt. One more reason to be against the death penalty, because an isolated guilt exists extremely rarely…
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