A federal appeals court granted a stay of execution Friday for Robert Melson, who was scheduled to be put to death Thursday for the shootings of three fast food employees at a Popeye's in Etowah County in 1994.
Melson is challenging his execution on grounds that the three-drug cocktail Alabama uses for lethal injections "has failed to work properly."
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued the stay so it can rule on Melson's challenge, which is also being appealed by four other death row inmates.
"To enable us to process these consolidated appeals in an orderly fashion, we grant Melson's application for a stay," the court said in its ruling. "His execution is accordingly stayed pending our resolution of these appeals."
Melson's attorney, John Palombi, said in a statement sent to AL.com that he was "pleased with the ruling.
"This allows the court to take time deciding the important issues surrounding Alabama's execution protocol, particularly whether the present protocol violates the Constitution," he said.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall's office could not immediately be reached for comment.
Melson has been on death row since May 1996. He was convicted along with Cuhuatemoc Peraita in the shooting deaths of fast-food employees Tamika Collins, 18, Nathaniel Baker, 17, and Darrell Collier, 23, during a robbery of a Gadsden's Popeye's restaurant.
A fourth person, Bryant Archer, was shot four times but survived; Archer identified Melson as the shooter in the incident.
Source: al.com, Howard Koplowitz, June 2, 2017
⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: email@example.com.
Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!