ATMORE, Ala. (WDHN) — After the U.S. Supreme Court this evening cleared the way for the state of Alabama to execute convicted murderer Matthew Reeves tonight, he was executed at 9:24 Thursday evening. This, after his lawyers had argued Reeves was intellectually disabled.
His lawyers argue he’s intellectually disabled and the case is getting international attention.
A lower court order had blocked the execution but Alabama took the case all the way to the top.
A divided supreme court ruled that the execution can proceed.
About 7:30 tonight, the high court lifted the stay but justices Barrett, Kagan, Sotomayor, and Breyer would have allowed the stay to remain in place.
Reeves was convicted of robbing and killing a man who gave him a ride back in 1996 in Selma, Alabama. Then with blood still on his hands, reeves went to a party and celebrated killing the victim.
The state has been preparing to execute Reeves by lethal injection at Holman Prison tonight.
Alabama inmates have a chance to sign a form choosing either lethal injection or nitrogen hypoxia as an execution method but Reeves didn’t fill his out.
His lawyers say Reeves is intellectually disabled and wasn’t capable of making such a decision without assistance that should have been provided under the Americans with Disabilities Act but the state argued he wasn’t so disabled that he couldn’t understand the choice.
Reeves contended he would have chosen nitrogen hypoxia over lethal injection had he comprehended the form.
At 4:30 pm Thursday, Reeves was moved into a holding cell near the death chamber to await the court decision.
Earlier, the European Ambassador to the US weighed in sending a letter to Governor Ivey asking her to block the execution.
Reports are that just before his execution tonight, Matthew Reeves had no final words.