MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama man who had been scheduled to die Thursday for a 1982 murder-for-hire will not be executed as planned, following decision by a federal appeals court.
Thomas Douglas Arthur had challenged his scheduled execution by lethal injection, claiming the state's use of a new anesthesia did not completely sedate inmates before the lethal drugs were administered. He said the practice was cruel and unusual.
The court on Wednesday declined a request by Alabama's attorney general's office to reconsider a March 21 decision allowing Arthur to go forward with his challenge.
Spokeswoman Joy Patterson said the Alabama attorney general's office was not going to appeal the court decision Wednesday.
State attorneys have pointed to successful executions where the drug — pentobarbital — was used.
The court last week decided to put Arthur's execution on hold while the challenge was heard. It marked the fifth time that Arthur — who has maintained his innocence for more than 29 years while on death row — was spared execution.
According to court documents filed by the State of Alabama, Troy Wicker's wife, Judy, testified that she had a sexual relationship with Arthur and paid him $10,000 to kill her husband.