Sick Ohio inmate to be propped up for lethal injection
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio started final preparations Tuesday for executing a sick inmate who will be provided a wedge-shaped pillow to help him breathe as he’s put to death this week.
Death row prisoner Alva Campbell appeared to be out of options, with the U.S. Supreme Court refusing on Tuesday afternoon to stop the execution. A message was left with Campbell’s attorneys seeking comment.
Campbell arrived at the state death house at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility earlier Tuesday.
Campbell’s attorneys have argued he is too ill for a lethal injection and also that he should be spared because of a brutal childhood.
Campbell, 69, 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.
The brother, sister and uncle of Charles Dials, fatally shot by Campbell during a 1997 carjacking, will witness the execution in Lucasville, about 85 miles south of Columbus, the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said Tuesday.
Four attorneys will witness on behalf of Campbell.
Campbell has severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder as the result of a decades-long two-packa-day smoking habit, the prison’s 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.