Shoals murderer Tommy Arthur executed after stay lifted - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Shoals murderer Tommy Arthur executed after stay lifted

Tommy Arthur (Source: Alabama Department of Corrections) Tommy Arthur (Source: Alabama Department of Corrections)

Convicted Muscle Shoals murderer Tommy Arthur was executed at about midnight Thursday.

The execution proceeded after the U.S. Supreme Court's stay of execution was lifted late Thursday.

Arthur was originally scheduled for death by lethal injection at 6 p.m. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay within an hour of that time. That stay was lifted after about 10:30 p.m.

Arthur, 75, was convicted of the 1982 murder for hire of Troy Wicker in Muscle Shoals. He has maintained his innocence all along and had dodged execution seven times before Thursday.

His attorneys tried to delay execution an eighth time by filing paperwork claiming there are potential problems with the drugs used during execution.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected that stay request. The motion then went to the Supreme Court where it was signed by Justice Clarence Thomas.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall then filed a motion for the stay to be lifted.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey released the following statement after midnight:

How to proceed when faced with a potential execution is one of the most difficult decisions I will ever have to make as governor. After much prayer and careful and deliberate consideration, I thought it best to allow the decision of a jury of Tommy Arthur’s peers to stand. In allowing the execution to proceed this evening, the rule of law was upheld, and Mr. Wicker’s family can finally rest knowing that his murderer has faced justice.

Three times Tommy Arthur was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. Each time his case was reviewed thoroughly at every level of both our state and federal courts, and the appellate process has ensured that the rights of the accused were protected.

No governor covets the responsibility of weighing the merits of life or death; but it is a burden I accept as part of my pledge to uphold the laws of this state. Mr. Arthur was rightfully convicted and sentenced, and tonight, that sentence was rightfully and justly carried out.

Marshall also gave a statement:

Thirty-four years after he was first sentenced to death for the murder of a Colbert County man, Thomas Arthur’s protracted attempt to escape justice is finally at an end. Most importantly, tonight, the family of Troy Wicker can begin the long-delayed process of recovery from a painful loss.

Arthur declined to eat his breakfast or his last meal on Thursday. He requested family photos in the execution room with him.

READ MORE: Alabama Death Row Inmate Tommy Arthur Pleads for Eighth Reprieve

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