Execution In Ohio: Alva Campbell Escapes Death After Medical Team Fails

The scheduled Ohio execution of convicted killer Alva Campbell did not go as planned. Unable to find a vein, the state's execution team was forced to stop the lethal injection process.

Inside the prison's execution room, 69-year-old Alva Campbell was strapped to a gurney while the team worked to connect him to an IV. Failing to find a suitable injection site in either of the convict's arms, they tried the right leg. Thinking they were successful, the crew signaled for the lethal injection to continue. However, a couple of minutes later, execution witnesses and media were asked to leave without explanation.

Per an NBC News report, Gary Mohr with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction called off Campbell's execution.

"It was my decision that it was not likely that we're going to access veins."
Prison officials have not confirmed when Campbell will be rescheduled for execution. With all the inmate's health problems, there is speculation his capital punishment will be delayed permanently.

"We're not going to rush to execute," Mohr said, as cited by the Chicago Tribune.

Nonetheless, it is highly likely Ohio Governor John Kasich, who previously denied clemency for Alva Campbell, will set a new execution date. A request for a firing squad instead of lethal injection was also denied.

Execution in Ohio halted after botched procedure.
Alva Campbell, sentenced to die by lethal injection, may get an indefinite stay of execution. [Image by Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction/AP Images]

According to his attorneys, Campbell suffers from breathing problems, including COPD and respiratory failure related to smoking. In addition, he needs a walker to get around, requires a colostomy bag, and suffers from prostate cancer. Campbell also has an allergy to midazolam, a sedative used in the execution process, stated his legal representatives.

Campbell's attorneys tried getting a stay of execution to avoid Ohio death penalty.
Defense attorney David Stebbins contends Alva Campbell is too sick to execute. [Image by Andrew Welsh-Huggins/AP Images]

An earlier stay of execution appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court claimed Campbell was too sick to execute. Due to his ill health, the ailing prisoner would unduly suffer during the lethal injection, potentially violating the Constitution's protection against cruel and unusual punishment. However, the high court did not agree with the defense team and ruled the Ohio execution can move forward.

In 1997, Alva Campbell kidnapped and killed 18-year-old Charles Dials. After an initial arrest for robbery, Campbell escaped police custody by faking paralysis and stealing an officer's gun. He then carjacked a truck with Dials in it and drove off. After nearly an hour, Campbell shot the young man in the head. He was later convicted of robbery and Dials' murder, receiving a death sentence for his crimes.

While Alva Campbell waits to find out if his sentence will eventually be carried out after failing this morning, 24 other inmates remain on death row. Another condemned prisoner sentenced to die, Romell Broom, also escaped Ohio's death chamber in 2009 when medical staff could not find a workable vein.

[Featured Image by Kiichiro Sato, File/AP Images]