Speed Reads

Capital Punishment

Severely ill inmate's execution called off mid-procedure

A severely ill death row inmate's execution was called off Wednesday after a prison team in Ohio spent 25 unsuccessful minutes searching for a vein in which they could start an IV. The inmate, Alva Campbell, "was stuck two times on his left arm, two times on his right arm, and one time on his right leg below the knee," writes The Columbus Dispatch. The execution was called off just after it appeared the IV in his right leg was inserted, Fox News reports, noting that it is only the third time in U.S. history that an execution has been stayed after the process already began.

Campbell, 69, suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and possibly lung cancer, and requires a walker, colostomy bag, and several daily breathing treatments, ABC News reports. On Tuesday, the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction confirmed plans to provide Campbell with a special pillow to prop him up in a semi-recumbent position so he would be able to breathe during the execution. His lawyers argued he was too ill for the IV injection and that his death could become a "spectacle" if guards attempted unsuccessfully to find useable veins. Campbell earlier lost a bid to be executed by firing squad due to questions about the legal procedure.

Campbell was sentenced to death after killing an 18-year-old sheriff's deputy, Charles Dials, in a 1997 carjacking on the way to a hearing on armed robbery charges. Campbell will return to death row and "likely have another execution date scheduled," The Columbus Dispatch reports.