Thursday, 14 November, 2019

Death row inmate claims he is at risk for 'botched' execution

Doyle Lee Hamm Doyle Lee Hamm Ivana Hrynkiw
Patty Aguilar | 23 February, 2018, 22:44

State officials announced at 11:30 p.m. Thursday that they were cancelling the execution because medical staff said didn't think they could obtain appropriate venous access before the execution warrant expired at midnight.

A devout Christian and retired executive, Kent Whitaker said he had forgiven his son and that his family did not want him to be executed.

Harcourt argues that the injection would be "a botched, painful, and bloody execution" as Hamm's veins are severely compromised.

The state has said that it's willing to adjust the injection process by connecting an intravenous line to Hamm's legs or feet.

A trio of inmates are scheduled to be executed on Thursday, one each in Alabama, Florida and Texas, raising the possibility that US prison authorities will carry out three death sentences on the same day for the first time since 2010.

"The application for stay of execution of sentence of death presented Justice Thomas and by him referred to the Court is denied". He and supporters were nearby the prison in a home used by inmate visitors and were standing and praying, Whitaker said.

Hamm's attorney had sought to stop the lethal injection.

Alabama prison officials have told the courts that they plan to connect the intravenous line to usable veins in Hamm's lower extremities.

A federal judge has canceled a Monday hearing on an Alabama inmate's aborted execution.

Doyle Lee Hamm, 61, was scheduled to be put to death at 6 p.m. for the 1987 slaying of motel clerk Patrick Cunningham in Cullman, Ala. Cunningham was shot once in the head during a robbery where $410 was taken. The Supreme Court bought his argument and issued a temporary stay late on Thursday.

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However, the Alabama attorney general's office said that Hamm's execution should proceed.

The circumstances behind each case could halt any of the executions, including the one in Texas, where the convict received an unprecedented clemency recommendation.

Branch was sentenced under Florida's old capital punishment system, which was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. "Hamm's conviction is valid and a competent state court with jurisdiction over his case set his execution date according to Alabama law", state lawyers wrote.

The prisoner has argued in court that years of drug use and illness left his veins unusable for authorities to kill him by lethal injection. The judges said an expert found veins where a lethal dose could be administered.

He asserted that Hamm's crime of killing Cunnigham, a father of two, was worthy of the death penalty.

It was only the fourth time since the state resumed executions in 1982 that the parole board has recommended clemency within days of an inmate's scheduled execution.

Hamm's lawyers had argued in his appeals that he had terminal cancer and that his condition and prior drug usage would make it hard for prison officials to find a vein for lethal injection.

The appellate court, in an opinion, said a medical expert found that Hamm has some useable veins where the execution drugs could be administered.

"Mr. Whitaker's father insists that he would be victimized again if the state put to death his last remaining immediate family member", Abbott said in a statement, noting that 30 inmates had been executed during his three years as governor.

Hamm was diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma in 2014.

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