Death penalty: Alabama set to execute Christopher Lee …

Alabama currently has 182 inmates on death row, with an average age of 32. These are the nine oldest male inmates and oldest female inmate. (Feb. 5, 2019) Melissa Brown, Melissa Brown

Alabama on Thursday plans to execute the second man in two weeks by lethal injection.

Nearly two months after his first execution attempt was called off at the last minute, Christopher Lee Price is scheduled to die on Thursday at Holman prison in Atmore. Price was sentenced to death for the 1991 murder of Fayette County preacher Bill Lynn.

The state originally planned to kill Price on April 11, but he received a last-minute stay of execution from federal and appellate courts.

While Alabama appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to lift the stay, the court did not issue an opinion before midnight, when Price’s death warrant expired.

Christopher Lee Price is scheduled to be executed on April 11. Price was convicted of stabbing a Fayette County preacher to death in 1991.(Photo: ADOC)

Price had argued Alabama’s lethal injection protocol has “botched” previous executions and could cause unconstitutional pain and suffering. Price instead asked to opt for death by nitrogen gas, a method Alabama approved last year but has yet to develop protocol for carrying out.The state argued Price failed to opt in forthe nitrogen methodin 2018 in accordance to a state statute, though his lawyer alleged he wasn’t properly notified about the opt-in period.

Before his planned execution in April, Price requested to be married. He and his fiance were married in the Holman Correctional Facility yard on April 10.

Price was 19 when he and a friend approached Lynn outside of his Bazemore home three days before Christmas. The two attacked Lynn while he was checking on the power box. Lynn’s wife, Bessie, later testified that the two assailants then beat her before stealing jewelry and money from their home.

Bill Lynn, who prosecutors say was cut or stabbed 38 times with a sword and dagger, died at ahospital approximately 45 minutes after the attack.

Prison officials said on April 11 that Bessie Lynn was prepared to witness Price’s execution, along with Bill Lynn’stwo daughters, two grandsons and a nephew.

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A Fayette County jury in 1993sentenced Price to death by a vote of 10-2. Price later tried to contest his sentence, alleging his originaltrial attorney was unprepared for the penalty phase of his trial. Price argued the lawyer failed to offer evidence that the then-teenager was psychologically traumatized following years of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of his mother’s boyfriends. The Supreme Court declined to review his case in 2013.

Price’s scheduled execution is the state’s second in May. On May 16, Alabama killed Michael Brandon Samra, who was convicted for his role in a quadruple homicide.

Alabama in Februaryexecuted Domineque Rayafter an 11th-hour U.S. Supreme Court ruling vacated a stay of execution pending a religious rights claim. The court ruled by a narrow majority Ray had waited too late to bring the issue to light.

Ray, a Muslim, had argued Alabama’s practice of including a Christian prison chaplain in the execution chamber was in violation of the First Amendment. Ray sought to have his imam present in the death chamber at the time of his death, but the state said it would allow only trained prison employees in the chamber.

In subsequent court filings, Alabama now says it has altered its execution protocol to exclude any religious leader, including the Holman prison chaplain, from the death chamber.

Ray’s execution and the last-minute delay in Price’s scheduled April execution, along with a handful of cases in other states, have highlighted tensions on the nation’s highest court. On May 13, the court issued an unprecedented trove of documents, which The Associated Press deemed “internal squabbling” over the death penalty.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Melissa Brownat 334-240-0132or mabrown@gannett.com.

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