Alabama raced clock to execute inmate

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ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on Alabama’s execution of inmate Tommy Arthur (all times local):

12:15 p.m.

Alabama had to race the clock to execute an inmate for a 1982 slaying.

Prison officials faced a legal deadline of 12 a.m. Friday to execute Tommy Arthur. That meant prison officers had to set the final stage for a lethal injection in only 1 hour, 16 minutes after the U.S. Supreme Court lifted a temporary stay.

Arthur was pronounced dead after an execution warrant expired. But officials say the execution was legal since it began earlier.

The 75-year-old Arthur was put to death for the 1982 shooting death of riverboat engineer Troy Wicker.


7:23 a.m.

A man once dubbed the “Houdini” of Alabama’s death row after averting seven prior execution dates has been put to death, capping years of litigation challenging the humaneness of lethal injection.

Tommy Arthur was pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m. CDT Friday after receiving an injection at the state prison in Atmore, authorities said. Arthur was convicted of killing riverboat engineer Troy Wicker, who was fatally shot as he slept in his home.

Wicker’s two sons witnessed the execution but made no statement to the media.

Arthur maintained his innocence in recent media interviews as his attorneys had pressed the state’s governor to delay his eighth execution date to DNA test hairs collected at the crime scene.

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