Death row inmate set to be executed today
Man convicted of killing Ohio teenager during 1997 carjacking.
Alva Campbell, who has said he is too ill for lethal injection, is scheduled to be executed at 10 a.m. today in Lucasville.
Death row prisoner LUCASVILLE — Alva Campbell, who has said he is too ill for lethal injection, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at 10 a.m. today at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville.
Campbell 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.
As part of his final preparations for execution, Campbell was provided a wedge-shaped pillow to help him breathe.
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.
Campbell, who killed 18-yearold Charles Dials in Columbus during a 1997 carjacking, arrived at the death house at the Lucasville correctional facility at 9:59 a.m. Tuesday.
Witnessing the execution will be Dials’ brother Joseph Dials, his sister Kayela Dials and his uncle Michael Brewer. A friend of Campbell’s, Kimberly Rigby, and attorneys Joseph Wilhelm, David Stebbins and Adam Rusnak also will witness.
Campbell’s last meal, called a special meal in Ohio, included pork chops, greens, sweet potato pie, mashed potatoes and gravy and macaroni and cheese.
Campbell, 69, has severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder as the result of a decadeslong two-pack-a-day smoking habit, the prison 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 U.S. Supreme Court to stop the execution, a motion opposed by the state.
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.
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.
Prisons department spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said Monday that Campbell’s “medical condition and history are being assessed and considered in order to identify any necessary accommodations or contingencies for his execution.”
Franklin County prosecutor Ron O’Brien called Campbell “the poster child for the death penalty.”
Prosecutors said his health claims are ironic given he faked paralysis to escape court custody the day of the fatal carjacking.
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 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 was regularly beaten, sexually abused and tortured as a child, his attorneys have argued in court filings and before the Ohio Parole Board.
Campbell was on parole for the 1972 killing of William Dovalosky in a Cleveland tavern. At the time of that killing, Campbell was on parole for shooting a State Highway Patrol officer in 1967.
Convicted murderer Alva Campbell, Jr. is scheduled to be executed at Lucasville today.