Inmate ‘too sick to be killed’
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