Alabama executes man for 1982 murder-for-hire

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on the execution of Alabama prisoner Tommy Arthur (all times local):

12:15 a.m.

Alabama has put to death Tommy Arthur, the man who escaped seven prior execution dates for his conviction in a 1982 murder-for-hire.

Officials say the 75-year-old inmate was pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m. CDT Friday following a lethal injection at a southwest Alabama prison.

Arthur was convicted in the fatal shooting of Troy Wicker as he slept in his Muscle Shoals home. Wicker’s wife initially blamed an intruder, but later testified she promised Arthur $10,000 to kill her husband.

The execution follows years of appeals by Arthur questioning Alabama’s injection procedure and other issues. But Arthur, who maintained innocence, told The Associated Press by phone Monday he knew chances of an eighth reprieve were diminished.

“I’m terrified but there’s nothing I can do,” he said.

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10:45 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court says the planned execution of an Alabama inmate can proceed.

The court ruled late Thursday that the execution of Tommy Arthur could go forward after issuing a temporary stay earlier in the day.

Arthur was scheduled to be executed Thursday evening. He was convicted of murdering Troy Wicker in 1982 as the man slept inside his Muscle Shoals home. The 75-year-old is on his eighth execution date and has maintained his innocence.

The nation’s high court issued a temporary stay “pending further order” from the justices late Thursday afternoon.

Arthur’s attorneys had filed two last-minute appeals to the court. One challenged the use of a drug in the state’s lethal injection protocol and the other called for a telephone in the death chamber so lawyers can call the court if something goes wrong.

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5:40 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a temporary stay on the execution of an Alabama prison inmate.

The nation’s high court stayed the execution of Tommy Arthur, “pending further order” from the justices, late Thursday afternoon. Arthur was scheduled to be executed Thursday evening.

Arthur’s attorneys filed two last-minute appeals to the court. One challenges the use of a drug in the state’s lethal injection protocol and the other called for a telephone in the death chamber so lawyers can call the court if something goes wrong.

The 75-year-old Arthur is on his eighth execution date. He was convicted in the 1982 murder-for-hire slaying of Troy Wicker.

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5:20 p.m.

An Alabama inmate is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his execution, which he says will be an “intentional infliction of pain.”

Lawyers for Tommy Arthur filed the stay request Thursday, about an hour before Arthur was set to be given a lethal injection. They argued the state plans to use an ineffective sedative and Arthur will feel “the chemical equivalent of being burned at the stake.”

His lawyers cited a December execution in which the inmate coughed for the first 13 minutes of the procedure. The state contends there is no evidence that inmate Ronald Bert Smith experienced pain during…

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