Alabama death row inmate asks for emergency execution stay

AP News
Posted: May 31, 2017 5:07 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama inmate is asking an appellate court to halt his upcoming lethal injection using a sedative that his lawyers say has "failed to work properly in four states."

Robert Melson's attorneys on May 25 asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for an emergency stay.

Melson is scheduled to be executed June 8 for the slayings of three Gadsden restaurant employees during a 1995 robbery.

Melson's lawyers argued midazolam won't render him unconscious before other drugs stop his lungs and heart.

An Alabama inmate in December coughed for 13 minutes and appeared to move slightly after consciousness tests. Appellate courts in May refused to stop the execution of Alabama inmate Tommy Arthur who also questioned midazolam's effectiveness.

The state contends there is no evidence that inmates experienced pain.