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A federal judge told Alabama to stop being vague and give a firm answer by Thursday evening on if the prison system is ready to use the untested execution method of nitrogen hypoxia at an execution next week.

U.S. District Judge R. Austin Huffaker, Jr. gave the state the deadline to file an affidavit, or declaration, on whether the state could try to execute inmate Alan Miller by nitrogen hypoxia on Sept. 22 if the use of lethal injection is blocked. The order came after the state dangled the possibility during a Monday court hearing of being ready to become the first state to attempt an execution with nitrogen hypoxia.

Nitrogen hypoxia is a proposed execution method in which death would be caused by forcing the inmate to breathe only nitrogen, thereby depriving him or her of the oxygen needed to maintain bodily functions. It’s authorized as an execution method in three states — Alabama, Oklahoma and Mississippi — but has never been used.

The state provided “vague and imprecise statements regarding the readiness and intent to move forward with an execution on September 22, 2022, by nitrogen hypoxia,” Huffaker said.

The judge asked the state Monday whether it was ready to use the method at Miller’s execution. A state attorney replied that it was “very likely” it could use nitrogen hypoxia next week, but said the state prison commissioner has the final decision.

“On or before September 15, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. CDT, the defendants shall file an affidavit or declaration of Commissioner John Q. Hamm, Attorney General Steve Marshall, or other appropriate official with personal knowledge, definitively setting forth whether or not the Defendants can execute the Plaintiff by nitrogen hypoxia on September 22, 2022,” the judge wrote in a Tuesday order.

Miller is seeking to block his scheduled execution by lethal injection, claiming prison staff lost paperwork he returned in 2018 choosing nitrogen hypoxia as his execution method.

Miller testified Monday that he is scared of needles so he signed a form selecting nitrogen hypoxia as his execution method. He said he left the form in his cell door tray for an prison officer to pick up. The state said there is no evidence to corroborate his claim.


A Michigan elections board on Wednesday rejected an abortion rights initiative after its two Republican board members voted against putting the proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot.

The two Democrats on the Board of State Canvassers voted in favor, but getting the measure on the ballot required at least three votes of the four-member board. The Reproductive Freedom for All campaign, which gathered signatures to get the measure on the ballot, is expected to appeal to the Democratic-leaning Michigan Supreme Court in the coming days and expressed confidence it would prevail.

The board’s administrative and clerical work on elections was once carried out in obscurity, but it drew national attention in 2020 when Donald Trump pressured Republican members not to certify Joe Biden’s electoral win in the state. Its partisan split was evident on another issue Wednesday, when it deadlocked 2-2 on a measure to expand voting, with Democrats for it and Republicans against.

The proposed constitutional amendment aims to negate a 91-year-old state law that would ban abortion in all instances except to save the life of the mother. The meeting drew hundreds of people, who packed the hearing room and overflow rooms for a chance to comment. Abortion opponents also protested outside.


A Florida woman who was acquitted of murdering her husband, a prominent official at the University of Central Florida, was sentenced Friday to a year of probation for tampering with evidence.

A judge sentenced Danielle Redlick in state court in Orlando.

Last month, a jury acquitted Danielle Redlick of second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Michael Redlick. Danielle Redlick said she had killed her husband out out of self-defense during a fight inside their home in which he had tried to “smother her to death.”

Jurors found Danielle Redlick guilty of evidence tampering for cleaning up her husband’s blood after stabbing him. Detectives found a pile of bloody towels, a bloody mop, bloody footprints and the strong smell of bleach in the house. She spent three years in jail prior to the trial.

Michael Redlick was the director of external affairs and partnership relations for the DeVos Sport Business Management Program at the University of Central Florida. He had previously worked for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Cleveland Browns and Memphis Grizzlies.

Court records showed that the Redlicks had been going through a divorce before the case was dismissed from a lack of action by Danielle Redlick, who initiated the court proceeding.

In a divorce petition, Danielle Redlick said the marriage was “irretrievably broken” and she was asking for alimony because she said she was unable to support herself without assistance. She listed herself as an unemployed photographer and multimedia professional.


Police in Virginia are investigating vandalism at a pregnancy center that discourages women from having an abortion.

Lynchburg Police on Saturday said the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center was spray painted with graffiti. The words “If abortion ain’t safe, you ain’t safe” were written on the walkway leading up to the center, and anarchist symbols were painted on the exterior brick wall.

Several windows were also broken.

Police say security footage shows four masked individuals committing the vandalism early Saturday morning.

In a tweet, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, said Virginia State Police are available to assist in the investigation.

“There is no room for this in Virginia, breaking the law is unacceptable. This is not how we find common ground,” he wrote.

Youngkin said Friday after the Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade ruling protecting abortion rights that he hopes to outlaw abortion in most cases after 15 weeks.


An Arizona man convicted of murder in the 1984 killing of an 8-year-old girl was put to death Wednesday in the state’s second execution since officials resumed carrying out the death penalty in May following a nearly eight-year hiatus.

Frank Atwood, 66, died by lethal injection at the state prison in Florence for his murder conviction in the killing of Vicki Lynne Hoskinson, whose body was found in the desert, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a statement.

Vicki Lynne went missing months earlier after leaving her home in Tucson to drop a birthday card in a nearby mailbox.

The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for Atwood’s execution Wednesday morning after rejecting a final appeal by his lawyers. He died at 10:16 a.m., Brnovich said, and witnesses reported that the execution went smoothly.

Atwood was the second Arizona prisoner to be put to death in less than a month. The execution of Clarence Dixon in May ended Arizona’s halt to executions that was blamed on the difficulty of obtaining lethal injection drugs and criticism that a 2014 execution in the state was botched.

Death penalty opponents now worry that Arizona will now start executing a steady stream of prisoners who have languished on death row, but state officials didn’t provide details when asked about the state’s future execution plans.


Women from the remote U.S. territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands will likely have to travel farther than other Americans to terminate a pregnancy if the Supreme Court overturns a precedent that established a national right to abortion in the United States.

Hawaii is the closest U.S. state where abortion is legal under local law. Even so, Honolulu is 3,800 miles (6,100 kilometers) away — about 50% farther than Boston is from Los Angeles.

“For a lot of people who are seeking abortion care, it might as well be on the moon,” said Vanessa L. Williams, an attorney who is active with the group Guam People for Choice.

It’s already difficult to get an abortion in Guam, a small, heavily Catholic island of about 170,000 people south of Japan.

The last physician who performed surgical abortions there retired in 2018. Two Guam-licensed doctors who live in Hawaii see patients virtually and mail them pills for medication abortions. But this alternative is available only until 11 weeks gestation.

Now there’s a possibility even this limited telehealth option will disappear.

A recently leaked draft opinion indicated the Supreme Court could overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision and allow individual states to ban abortion. About half of them would likely do so, abortion rights advocates say. Oklahoma got a head start Wednesday when its governor signed a measure prohibiting all abortions with few exceptions.

All three U.S. territories in the Pacific — Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa — also have the potential to adopt prohibitions, according to a 2019 report by the Center for Reproductive Rights. None have legal protections for abortion, and they could revive old abortion bans or enact new ones, the report said.

Traveling to the nearest states where abortion is allowed — Hawaii or the U.S. West Coast — would be prohibitive for many women.

A nonstop flight from Guam to Honolulu takes nearly eight hours. Only one commercial airline flies the route. A recent online search showed the cheapest tickets going for $1,500 roundtrip in late May.

Williams said many Guam residents need time off work, a hotel room and a rental car to travel for an abortion, adding more costs.

Hawaii legalized abortion in 1970, three years before Roe. The state today allows abortion until a fetus would be viable outside the womb. After that, it’s legal if a patient’s life or health is in danger.

Flying to a country in Asia that allows abortion would be quicker, but several reproductive rights advocates on Guam said they hadn’t heard of anyone doing that. For one, it would require a passport, which many don’t have, said Kiana Yabut of the group Famalao’an Rights.

Without Roe, Guam could revert to an abortion ban dating to 1990. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the law unconstitutional in 1992, but it has never been repealed.

James Canto, Guam deputy attorney general, agreed under questioning by a Guam senator this month that existing abortion laws in various states and territories would “be the law of the land” if Roe was overturned.


Vandals struck an anti-abortion group’s office in Wisconsin, apparently setting a fire after a Molotov cocktail thrown into the building failed to ignite, authorities said.

Flames were seen coming from Wisconsin Family Action’s office shortly after 6 a.m. Sunday, and the fire was being investigated as arson. It wasn’t immediately clear who vandalized the building, but the message “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either” was spray-painted on the exterior.

“It appears a specific nonprofit that supports anti-abortion measures was targeted,” Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes said in a statement. Police planned a Monday afternoon news conference to provide an update on the investigation.

The vandalism came days after the leak of a draft opinion suggested the U.S. Supreme Court was on course to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. The leak spurred immediate demonstrations, including weekend protests by abortion rights supporters outside the homes of conservative justices, with more planned this week.

The president of the lobbying group, Julaine Appling, said she considers the fire a “direct threat against us.” She said people could have been hurt if they had been working in the office at the time.

“This is the local manifestation of the anger and the lack of tolerance from the pro-abortion people toward those of us who are pro-life,” Appling told the Wisconsin State Journal.

Appling said her group won’t be intimidated.

“We will repair our offices, remain on the job, and build an even stronger grassroots effort,” Appling said. “We will not back down. We will not stop doing what we are doing. Too much is at stake.”

Politicians from both parties swiftly condemned the vandalism.

“We condemn violence and hatred in all forms, including the actions at Wisconsin Family Action in Madison,” Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, said in a tweet. “We reject violence against any person for disagreeing with another’s view. Violence is not the way forward. Hurting others is never the answer.”

The governor said Monday during a question-and-answer session with reporters at a pharmaceutical company groundbreaking in Verona, a Madison suburb, that the incident was “horrible” and whoever is responsible should be arrested and put on trial.

“This is unacceptable,” Evers said. “Violence does not solve the issues we’re facing as a country.”

Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican, said the actions shouldn’t be tolerated.

“This attack is abhorrent and should be condemned by all,” Johnson said.

Clinics that perform abortions have sometimes been targeted by vandals, too, including as recently as January when a Planned Parenthood clinic in Tennessee was hit by arson.

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