The State of Ohio postponed for 2019 the scheduled execution of prisoner Alva Campbell today after the executioners could not find the veins to administer the lethal injection.
Campbell, a 69-year-old white man, is in a delicate state of health with a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and his lawyers had warned that execution could cause problems.
He also needs a walker to walk and depends on a colostomy bag, according to his lawyer.
After 10.00 local time (15.00 GMT), the executioners of the South Ohio Correctional Center (Lucasville) tried to insert intravenous lines in both arms of Campbell and one of his legs, but after 25 minutes they decided to suspend the execution.
This is the third time in the recent history of the United States that an execution is stopped once the procedure has begun.
The director of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation of Ohio, Gary Mohr, said after the failed execution attempt that the condition of Campbell’s veins had changed since they were examined on Tuesday.
In some cases, prisoners do not drink liquids during the hours prior to execution to become dehydrated and make it difficult to find a vein.
The governor of Ohio, John Kasich, rescheduled the execution of Campbell for June 5, 2019.
Campbell was already an old acquaintance of Justice when he was arrested in 1997 for an armed robbery.
He had served 20 years in prison for murdering a man in a bar in 1972, and since 1992 he had been on probation.
Once arrested, Campbell pretended to suffer body paralysis to be transferred to court in a wheelchair. Once there, he reduced the sheriff’s agent who was guarding him and stole the gun, knowing that a new sentence meant life imprisonment, even if it was for theft.
In the courthouse parking lot, Campbell assaulted young Charles Dials, 18, who had come to pay a traffic ticket.
Campbell forced Dials to drive for about two hours until he decided to kill him with a shot in the face. He was arrested after the murder and sentenced to death a year later.