Death row inmate Christopher Lee Price’s execution postponed at 11th hour

As the clock inched closer to the midnight deadline, an Alabama inmate was spared from lethal injection Thursday night after the state failed to lift an 11th-hour stay of his execution in time.

Christopher Lee Price, who was sentenced to death in the 1991 slaying of pastor Billy Lynn, received the last-minute stay from a federal district court around 3:30 p.m., blocking his execution.

A divided US Supreme Court vacated that stay early Friday — but the decision came after the death warrant setting his April 11 execution date expired at the stroke of 12.

Alabama will now have to seek a new execution date from a state court.

The 46-year-old death-row inmate argued the state’s lethal injection protocol had been “botched” in other cases, and he requested that he receive death by nitrogen gas instead. The state has authorized the alternative method but not developed a procedure.

In siding with the state, the Supreme Court majority said Price had waited too long to request death by nitrogen.

Lynn, 57, was at his Fayette County home wrapping Christmas presents for his grandchildren when he was killed by Price, who used a sword and dagger in the slaying.

Gov. Kay Ivey said she would continue to push the death sentence for Price.

“This evening, the state of Alabama witnessed a miscarriage of justice,” Ivey said in a statement. “This horrendous crime left Pastor Lynn’s wife and family to grieve, and now, almost 30 years later, the family is still left with no closure.”

With Post wires

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