AL Botched Execution, Left Bloody Death Chamber

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An execution in Alabama was aborted last week after the inmate was left with 10 puncture wounds when medical personnel were unable to find a vein after two and a half hours of trying, Reuters reports. The failed attempts left behind a bloodied death chamber, the inmate’s lawyer said. On Thursday, Alabama tried to execute by lethal injection convicted murderer Doyle Hamm, 61, who has spent more than half his life on death row. The state called the execution off because issues with Hamm’s veins could not be resolved before a death warrant expired at midnight. “It was a gory, botched execution. They gave up when they could not find a vein,” said Columbia University law Prof. Bernard Harcourt, who is representing Hamm.

The execution has come under federal court review, with a judge calling for the state to preserve evidence, including the clothes Hamm was wearing. Oklahoma and Arizona have also conducted botched executions that raised questions about death chamber protocols in the 31 states with capital punishment. Two groups of medical personnel tried to place a line in Hamm’s groin area or in an area between his knees and feet, Harcourt said. In court filings before the planned execution, Hamm’s lawyers said he had terminal cancer and a history of intravenous drug use that had severely compromised his veins. They said Alabama was rushing through a specialized execution protocol, increasing the chances of a flawed procedure.

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