Alabama postpones execution for inmate Doyle Lee Hamm

ATMORE, Ala. — Alabama has postponed a scheduled execution, saying there is not enough time to prepare the inmate before a death warrant expires at midnight.

Doyle Lee Hamm, 61,  was scheduled to die by lethal injection at 6 p.m. Thursday, but the U.S. Supreme Court delayed the execution while it considered Hamm’s request to block it. The court ruled about 9 p.m. that officials could proceed with the execution.

Prison spokesman Bob Horton said there was insufficient time to prepare the inmate.

Hamm was sentenced to death for the 1987 murder of Cullman motel clerk Patrick Cunningham during a robbery in which $410 was stolen. Cunningham was shot in the head.

Hamm’s attorney had sought to stop the lethal injection. He argued that lymphoma, drug use and hepatitis C had compromised Hamm’s veins to the point that lethal injection would be both difficult and unconstitutionally cruel.