Alabama Death Row Inmate Goes Before High Court

Attorneys for an Alabama death row inmate whose execution was delayed in October will argue during a US Supreme Court hearing Monday that executing their client by lethal injection would be cruel and unusual punishment.

The Supreme Court blocked the execution of David Larry Nelson just short of it taking place -- granting a stay to review his claim that he has collapsed veins and that lethal injection would be so painful it would be "cruel and unusual punishment."

Alabama Attorney General Troy King says Nelson is trying to twist the law to avoid the death penalty.

The 58-year-old Nelson was sentenced to die October ninth for the January first, 1978 shooting death of Wilson Thompson of Kimberly while Thompson was with Nelson's girlfriend. Nelson was also convicted in the shooting death of a Birmingham cab driver James Dewey Cash the night before.

Monday's hearing concerns the question of whether Nelson can challenge his death sentence again after using up his appeals. His complaint was filed as a civil rights violation, not a criminal appeal, three days before his scheduled execution.