OH transfers sick inmate to death house ahead of execution


OH called off the execution of a condemned killer with multiple health problems on Wednesday, because members of the state's execution team were unable to find a vein to insert an IV that would administer the lethal drugs.

OH prison officials gave up trying to find a viable vein after some 80 minutes of searching, witnesses said.

In only the third time in USA history, an execution attempt on Alva Campbell was halted on Wednesday, November 15, after the process had begun when jail staff could not locate a vein in which to insert the IV containing a cocktail of deadly drugs.

Informed the attempt was being called off, the condemned man shook hands with two members of the team as he wiped away tears.

Officials were ultimately forced to cancel but said a new date would be set.

Campbell, 69, became mildly agitated when officials tried lowering him to a normal execution position during an exam last month, according to a medical review by a physician contractor for the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

At one point the executioners appeared to have successfully inserted a needle in his shin, however, the warden instructed them to pull it out, said David Stebbins, Campbell's attorney.

OH started final preparations Tuesday for executing a sick inmate who will be provided a wedge-shaped pillow to help him breathe as he's put to death this week.

Stebbins said he doesn't know what will happen next, but he added that Campbell's health problems and poor veins are a continuing problem.

Executioners worked for the 80 minutes to locate a vein
Image Executioners worked for the 80 minutes to locate a vein

He had spent Wednesday morning praying and watching TV, said JoEllen Smith, a prisons spokeswoman.

The attorneys have warned that Campbell's death could become a "spectacle" if guards are unable to find suitable veins in the sick inmate's arms.

They argued he was too ill to execute, and also should be spared because of the effects of a brutal childhood in which he had been beaten, sexually abused and tortured.

Campbell suffers from a severe chronic pulmonary disorder as a result of a decades-long two packet-a-day smoking habit.

Campbell's attorneys said he uses a walker, relies on a colostomy bag, requires four breathing treatments a day and may have lung cancer.

Anti-death penalty campaigners said the fiasco shows capital punishment is inhumane and should be abolished. He was shot during a robbery, faked being paralyzed as he was driven by a Franklin County sheriff's deputy to a court hearing over several armed robbery charges.

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a request for a stay on those grounds.

Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich rejected mercy for Campbell last week.

Campbell, who was convicted for a carjack killing of an 18-year-old in 1997, was in the execution chamber lying on the table for more than 20 minutes but the medical staff couldn't find a viable vein.