Tommy Arthur, who has faced seven previous execution dates in Alabama, is scheduled to die today.
The inmate, who is known as “the Houdini of death row,” had his execution date postponed each time. His legal team is hard at work trying to get tonight’s date set aside as well.
Arthur’s path toward the death chamber has included three trials, a prison break, and a series of court battles by his pro bono legal team.
That team continues to work on last-minute appeals, calling for additional DNA testing of trial evidence and arguing that observations of recent executions show that the planned drug cocktail doesn’t provide sufficient anesthetic drugs to comply with Constitutional safeguards against cruel and unusual punishment.
“I’m terrified, but there’s nothing I can do,” Arthur said in a telephone call. “I’ve got hope in my legal team.”
Steve Marshall, attorney general of Alabama, says Arthur’s case is an “egregious example of how a convicted murderer can manipulate the legal system to avoid justice."
Arthur, for his part, contends that he is innocent as his lawyers decry the lack of physical evidence in the case.
"Neither a fingerprint nor a weapon, nor any other physical evidence connects Thomas Arthur to the murder of Troy Wicker," said lead lawyer Suhana Han.
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