The Supreme Court ruled today that Alabama may try again to execute a convicted killer who has been on death row for more than 30 years. The justices turned down an appeal from inmate Tommy Arthur, the Associated Press reports.. In November, the court blocked his execution as he waited in a holding cell outside the state’s execution chamber. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer said they would have heard Arthur’s appeal.
Arthur has maintained his innocence in the murder-for-hire killing of Troy Wicker. Arthur argued that it is virtually impossible to challenge Alabama’s lethal injection procedures because state law requires inmates to identify an alternate source of execution drugs and a detailed plan for carrying out the execution. Sotomayor said Arthur had presented considerable evidence that Alabama’s lethal injection procedures “will result in intolerable and needless agony” and had suggested a firing squad as an alternative.