Alabama Inmate Apologizes Before His Execution

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Christopher Price was executed in Alabama after losing a 5-4 Supreme Court appeal to delay it. Hours before he was put to death for slaying a minister 28 years ago, he apologized, reports “I’m terribly sorry for the victim of my crime and his family. Neither he nor his family deserve what happened to him. No one deserves that,” Price said. Price, 46, was initially set to die on April 11, but the execution was called off just before midnight because the state said it didn’t have time to start the procedure before the death warrant expired. He was convicted in the 1991 robbery and slaying of Fayette County minister Bill Lynn, who was slain with a sword and dagger a few days before Christmas while he was wrapping presents for his grandchildren.

Attorney General Steve Marshall said Price had “dodged his death sentence for the better part of three decades by employing much the same strategy he has pursued today and tonight: desperately clinging to legal maneuverings to avoid facing his just punishment.” Late Wednesday, Price appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay. Price hadn’t sought to overturn his sentence. He wanted to force executioners to kill him with nitrogen gas, which he said evidence suggests is nearly painless, rather than the three-drug protocol Alabama uses for lethal injection, the Wall Street Journal reports. Alabama authorizes nitrogen gas but says Price missed a deadline to request the method. The high court ruled 5-4 to let the execution proceed. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for dissenters that Price should have had a chance to pursue his claim that the Alabama protocol could inflict “severe, excruciating pain.”

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