For hours, Alabama's third failed execution inmate was'strapped to a gurney.'

Smith, Kenneth Death penalty- According to his attorneys, a prisoner in Alabama was strapped to a gurney in the death chamber for hours on Thursday evening as the courts heard his appeals in the pastor's wife's murder-for-hire scheme. Kenneth Eugene Smith's execution was eventually halted for the night because prison officials were unable to begin the lethal injection within the 100-minute window between the courts' approval and the midnight deadline when the death warrant expired for the day.

Document filed in court

The officials had trouble finding a vein for the lethal injection. It was the third failed execution in the state, a situation that experts say is unusual nationally. Smith's attorneys claim that he was shackled to the gurney in the Holman Correctional Facility's death chamber for four hours before his execution at 7:45 p.m. local time. Officials prepared the lethal injection while Smith's request for a stay of execution was pending before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court.

Smith remained in custody even after an appeals court issued a stay of execution and the case was transferred to the United States Supreme Court, which lifted the stay at 10:20 p.m., according to his attorney. At 11:20 p.m., an hour later Alabama, Thursday

The state carried out an execution in July, but only after a three-hour delay caused in part by the same difficulty in establishing an intravenous line. According to a leader at the Death Penalty Information Center, an anti-death penalty organization with an extensive database on executions, no state has had to halt an execution in progress since 2017, when Ohio halted Alva Campbell's lethal injection due to a lack of a vein.