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Alabama postpones execution of Tommy Arthur for fifth time after appeals court refuses to lift stay, Birmingham News

 
Alabama postpones execution of Tommy Arthur for fifth time after appeals court refuses to lift its stay


 By Kent Faulk -- The Birmingham News The Birmingham News
 


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Thursday's planned execution of a man convicted of the contract killing of a Muscle Shoals man in 1982 has been called off after a federal appeals court today refused to lift its stay issued last week, the Alabama Attorney General's office confirmed this afternoon.


The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals today denied the Alabama Attorney General's  request to reconsider its stay on the execution of 70-year-old Tommy Arthur, said Joy Patterson, spokeswoman for the Attorney General's Office.


The 11th Circuit last week had reversed a federal judge's ruling that had dismissed an appeal by Arthur who had appealed the state's use of one a new drug in it's three-drug combination used in lethal injection executions. That same court on Friday issued a stay of the execution until further notice.


On Monday the Attorney General's Office appealed and asked the court to lift the stay -- a request denied today.


Arthur's execution had been set for 6 p.m. Thursday. It's the fifth time Arthur's execution has been postponed in the past 11 years.


Brian Corbett, spokesman for the Alabama Department of Corrections, said this afternoon that they stopped preparations for Arthur's execution after getting word of the appeals court's decision.


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