Time runs out as prisoner spared execution... for now
A death row inmate's execution was halted at the last minute after the Alabama Department of Corrections ruled that there was not enough time to carry out the lethal injection.
Christopher Lee Price was sentenced to death in 1993 after fatally stabbing pastor Bill Lynn during a robbery in 1991.
But just hours before his scheduled execution, the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling delaying Price's execution by 60 days after his lawyers argued that Alabama's three-drug lethal injection protocol was likely to cause severe pain.
Price said he would prefer to be executed by nitrogen hypoxia. Alabama is one of three states to legally allow death by nitrogen, but the method is yet to be used.
Methods ranging from a gas chamber to a gas mask have been put forward.
The death warrant for Price's execution was due to expire at midnight on Thursday. Less than half an hour before the expiration of the warrant, the Alabama Department of Corrections announced that there would not be time to carry out the execution, even if the court stay was lifted.
Prison officials said Price was being moved back to his normal cell in death row.
Alabama's prisons are among America's most crowded and dangerous, according to a Justice Department report. It found the state's 13 prisons for men house roughly 16,000 inmates. (© Independent News Service)