In­mate ‘too sick to be killed’

Bangkok Post - - WORLD -

COLUMBUS: Ohio was start­ing final prepa­ra­tions last night for the lethal in­jec­tion of an in­mate who claims he is too ill to be ex­e­cuted.

Death row pris­oner Alva Camp­bell will be pro­vided a wedge-shaped pil­low to help him breathe as he’s put to death.

Camp­bell, 69, has se­vere chronic ob­struc­tive pul­monary dis­or­der as the re­sult of a decades-long two-pack-a-day smok­ing habit, the prisons doc­tor said.

Camp­bell’s at­tor­neys said he uses a walker, re­lies on a colostomy bag, re­quires four breath­ing treat­ments a day and may have lung can­cer. They have asked the US Supreme Court to stop the ex­e­cu­tion, a mo­tion op­posed by the state.

The in­mate 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.

Dr James McWeeney noted there were no ob­jec­tive find­ings such as in­creased pulse rate or breath­ing to cor­rob­o­rate Camp­bell’s anx­i­ety. Nev­er­the­less, he rec­om­mended al­low­ing Camp­bell to lie “in a semi-re­cum­bent po­si­tion” dur­ing the ex­e­cu­tion.

The same exam failed to find veins suit­able for in­sert­ing an IV on ei­ther of Camp­bell’s arms.

He is set to die by in­jec­tion to­day. The De­part­ment of Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and Cor­rec­tion will move Camp­bell from death row in Chilli­cothe to the death house at the South­ern Ohio Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity in Lu­casville, about 135km south of Columbus.

The at­tor­neys have warned that Camp­bell’s death could be­come a “spec­ta­cle”.

Ear­lier this month, Camp­bell lost a bid to be ex­e­cuted by fir­ing squad af­ter a fed­eral judge ques­tioned whether law­mak­ers would en­act the bill needed to al­low the method.

On April 2, 1997, Camp­bell was in a wheel­chair when he over­pow­ered a Franklin County sher­iff’s deputy on the way to a court hear­ing on sev­eral armed rob­bery charges, records show.

Camp­bell took the deputy’s gun, car­jacked 18-year-old Charles Dials and drove around with him for sev­eral hours be­fore shoot­ing him twice in the head as Dials crouched in the footwell of his own truck, ac­cord­ing to court records.

Camp­bell: Heavy smoker

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