An execution was called off in the state on Wednesday when medical personnel were unable to find suitable veins on the 69-year-old condemned man. A spokesman for the governor said the failed execution does not indicate a need for new protocols.
A day after another failed execution in Ohio, Gov. John Kasich said the state’s capital-punishment protocol doesn’t need to change, reports the Columbus Dispatch. Meanwhile, civil-rights advocates say the latest failure could be used as evidence in future challenges to the constitutionality of Ohio’s death-penalty law. Kasich was forced to grant a reprieve for Alva Campbell on Wednesday when a medical team in the prison death chamber Lucasville determined that it couldn’t find two suitable veins in his arms or legs to carry out his lethal injection. Campbell, 69, had been strapped to a gurney and poked and prodded for about 30 minutes when the team made the determination.
The failure of the execution appears to be just the third in modern U.S. history — and the second to occur in Ohio during the past decade. Campbell’s ill health presaged a difficult execution. But in 2009, the state also was forced to halt the execution of a younger, healthier man, Romell Broom, 53, after two hours of trying to find suitable veins. And in 2014, another problem execution took place, when Dennis McGuire choked and struggled for about 10 minutes before dying. The state stopped executions until earlier this year, when it successfully executed Ronald Phillips in July. It also successfully executed Gary Otte in September. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said he would want to see a full report on what went wrong Wednesday before deciding whether the state’s protocol needs to be changed. But when asked whether Campbell’s failed execution shows the need for change, Kasich spokesman John Keeling simply said no.