receive at least one special accommodation during his execution. Emphysema and other pulmonary problems would make it difficult for him to lie flat on the execution table, so correction officials will use a wedge-shaped pillow to prop him up.
In an earlier examination, medical professionals couldn’t find a suitable vein in Campbell’s arms or legs to insert an IV to carry a lethal injection. A correction spokeswoman has said the department is examining what other accommodations might be needed to execute Campbell.
Noted death-penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean has taken to Twitter repeatedly in recent days to press Gov. John Kasich to commute Campbell’s sentence.
“Should Ohio kill
a terminal cancer patient who can’t walk or breathe without assistance?” she said in a tweet Tuesday. “If you answered no, I urge you to call Gov. @ JohnKasich and tell him to stop the execution of Alva Campbell: (614) 466-3555.”
Kasich denied Campbell’s request for clemency last week.
Campbell was on parole April 2, 1997, when he was taken into custody for a string of armed robberies. Likely headed back to prison for the rest of his life, he faked paralysis, overpowered a deputy sheriff, took her gun and carjacked Dials, who was outside the courthouse after paying a traffic ticket.
After driving around town for hours, Campbell ordered Dials onto the floor of his truck and shot him twice.
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.
During his clemency hearing, Campbell’s lawyers and mentalhealth professionals testified that Campbell had suffered physical abuse at the hands of an alcoholic father and sexual abuse when he was placed in Ohio’s foster-care system at age 10.
The Ohio death house was the scene of problematic executions in 2009, when an execution was called off after technicians spent two hours unsuccessfully trying to insert an IV, and in 2014, when convicted killer Dennis McGuire choked, clenched his fists and appeared to struggle against his restraints for about 10 minutes before dying on Ohio’s execution table.
Ohioans to Stop Executions planned a series of vigils across the state to protest the Campbell execution, including Tuesday evening in Athens and Cincinnati and Wednesday morning at the prison, the Ohio Statehouse, Toledo and Cleveland.
Abe Bonowitz, of Ohioans to Stop Executions, said his group has gathered more than 15,000 signatures on a petition to stop the Campbell execution.
Before Campbell, the most recent Franklin County resident to be executed was William Wickline, 52. He died on March 30, 2004, for the 1982 murder of Peggy Lerch. Wickline strangled the Blendon Township woman after fatally slitting the throat of her husband, Christopher Lerch, over a drug debt. Both of their bodies were dismembered and never found.