In 3 A.M. ruling, Supreme Court allows Alabama execution to proceed
13 April 2019
For the second time in as many weeks, the US Supreme Court has ruled that the execution of a death row inmate can proceed despite claims that the method of execution, lethal injection, will cause unnecessary pain and suffering.
The 5-4 ruling issued by the court’s right wing majority was made with extraordinary haste. The state of Alabama filed an application with the court on Thursday evening to proceed with the execution of Christopher L. Price, who, along with an accomplice, was convicted of the murder of Bill Lynn, a minister, in the course of a robbery in 1991. Alabama’s 9 P.M. filing asked the court to vacate a stay of execution issued by a lower court and upheld by a federal court of appeals.
Justice Stephen Breyer asked for a postponement of the ruling until the court could meet to discuss the case in private conference Friday morning. But the right-wing majority, in its rush to keep the execution assembly moving, rejected Breyer’s request and proceeded to reverse the lower courts and lift the stay.
Facing a midnight deadline to carry out the state murder, the Alabama authorities were compelled to call off the execution pending the Supreme Court ruling. Now the state must apply to a court for a new execution warrant, delaying the lethal injection killing of Price for 30 days.
Alabama Attorney General Steven T. Marshall railed against Price for filing his appeal, in which he asked that he be executed by nitrogen hypoxia instead of lethal injection, citing a series of botched executions employing the latter method, which had caused the victims protracted periods of excruciating pain.
Price, the attorney general said, “dodged his death sentence for the better part of…