Alabama executes Christopher Lee Price for killing pastor with sword and knife days before Christmas
46-year-old Price was convicted of killing a north Alabama pastor, Bill Lynn, with a sword and knife just days before Christmas in 1991
In its second execution in less than two weeks, Alabama put a man to death by lethal injection on Thursday who was convicted of killing a country preacher during a 1991 robbery.
Christopher Lee Price's execution was carried out weeks after he had avoided another execution date amid disagreements between U.S. Supreme Court justices, according to reports.
The 46-year-old's execution was carried out at Holman prison, where he was pronounced dead at 7:31 pm, according to the New York Post.
Price was convicted of killing a north Alabama pastor, Bill Lynn, with a sword and knife just days before Christmas in 1991.
Reports state that before his execution, Price issued a statement of apology through his attorney.
Price, while he was strapped to a gurney, moments before the lethal injection was administered to him, said: "A man is much more than his worst mistake."
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey also issued a statement saying Price had to be punished and that Pastor Lynn deserved justice.
"Finally, the loved ones of Pastor Lynn can feel at ease knowing that justice has been administered. I pray that, after all these years later, his family can feel a sense of peace and comfort,” the governor said.
Both Price and Lynn's relatives were among the witnesses as the inmate was put to death shortly after the US Supreme Court rejected a final request for a stay on his execution.
A prison official said that Price's execution had been delayed by over an hour while the state awaited the court's decision.
Reports state that Price lifted and lowered his head twice after the initial drug began flowing through his system and his stomach heaved five times. The 46-year-old didn't respond when an officer tested for consciousness by flicking his eyelashes and punching an arm. The color began draining from his face and he was declared dead within minutes of the process.
Lynn's family released a statement thanking their friends and relatives for their support during a “long and difficult journey.” According to a statement read by a prison official, the family said: "We are praying to finally have peace."
Price had reportedly sought a stay on his execution to challenge the state's method of using three drugs during lethal injections. The inmate had instead asked to die by nitrogen hypoxia, a method legally authorized by Alabama but not developed.
According to Price's attorneys, the method would have been less painful than lethal injection.