Death row inmate: Execution drugs won't work

Alabama is set to execute a man who has had planned lethal injections delayed by the courts seven times.

Arthur's lawyers filed a flurry of last-minute appeals in a bid to halt the execution, but the U.S. Supreme Court opened the way for the execution to proceed shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday.

His case has angered both opponents and supporters of the death sentence: the former see his endless run-ins with execution as a form of psychological torture, while those who support the sentence see Arthur and his legal team as constantly playing the system to cheat justice. Arthur, nicknamed the Houdini of death row after having seventh executions postponed is facing an eighth date with the death chamber on Thursday, May 25, 2017, and a diminishing chance of winning another reprieve. While maintaining his innocence, he has made use of creative legal maneuvers to stave off execution with rights advocates sarcastically dubbing him the "Houdini" of death row. Not Arthur. "I don't believe in that last meal baloney - I never have the appetite. I won't give up". I can't. I'm not geared that way. "I don't know how to quit".

Troy Wicker's niece told Alabama media that the execution would give surviving family members closure after decades of pain. Arthur was already in a prison work-release program for the 1977 slaying of his sister-in-law, a crime he admits to committing - though he says he meant to fire the shot over her head to scare her.

He was convicted in 1983 but the conviction was overturned. While awaiting retrial, he escaped jail in 1986 by shooting a guard in the neck. He remained a fugitive for more than a month.

His first two convictions in the Wicker case were overturned, but the third one was not. He said that he did not have a death wish, but that the sentence would provide more access to appeals.

Among issues the Supreme Court was considering was a claim from Arthur's attorneys that they should have access to a phone to call the courts if the execution goes awry.

A victims' advocacy group director refers to Arthur as the "Houdini" of death row for the number of execution stays he has won.

"He always finds a way to escape", Grantham told The Associated Press. The state's last execution using midazolam took longer than expected as the inmate coughed for the first 13 minutes of the procedure. Wicker's wife initially blamed an intruder, but later testified she promised Arthur $10,000 to kill her husband.

On Thursday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey denied Arthur's request for advanced DNA testing of hair samples that he argued could implicate another person in the crime, stating that the hair samples had been presented to three juries, "all of whom convicted Arthur of capital murder beyond a reasonable doubt". Judy Wicker's rape kit can not be found to be tested.

Alabama prosecutors and Wicker's family has said Arthur has had enough appeals.

"If he does get executed and I hope and pray so - people might not think it's very good to pray for someone to die". The lawyers have argued that the opening sedative in Alabama's execution protocol - midazolam - wouldn't properly anesthetize him before he's injected with other drugs to stop his heart and lungs. Late Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a temporary stay "pending further order" from the justices.

Back then, he asked to put a picture of his four children on the back of his Bible so he could look up at them as he died.

To learn more about Alabama executions go here.

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