Supreme Court lifts stay of Alabama execution

The U.S. Supreme Court has lifted the stay on an Alabama execution that had been scheduled for this week.

The court late Tuesday vacated an emergency stay that had been granted Friday to Robert Melson.

Robert Melson

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had halted the execution as it decides appeals from Melson and other inmates who claim the sedative midazolam used by Alabama will not render them unconscious before other drugs stop their lungs and heart.

Melson was scheduled to be executed Thursday for killing three Gadsden restaurant employees during a 1994 robbery.

Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor opposed vacating the stay.