Alabama postpones execution of inmate with damaged veins

Alabama halted the execution of an inmate who had argued that his veins were too damaged for lethal injection, because medical staff did not think they could connect the intravenous line by the time the death warrant expired at midnight.

Alabama Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn said the prison system halted Doyle Lee Hamm's execution around 11:30 p.m. Thursday "out of an abundance of caution" after medical staff said they did not think they could obtain "the appropriate venous access" before midnight.

Bernard Harcourt, a law school professor representing Hamm, said the state should be "ashamed."

Hamm was sentenced to die after being convicted of murder in the 1987 slaying of a motel clerk.