A death row inmate that lived through a botched execution is now suing the state claiming that what he endured was inhumane and amounted to torture. The execution did not go as planned. Doctors who were attempting to administer the lethal injection couldn’t locate a vein, and tried 11 different injection sites before they stopped.
Doyle Lee Hamm, who remains on death row in Alabama, should have been executed on February 22. Hamm was found guilty of the murder of Patrick Cunningham decades ago, and has been fighting his execution in the courts ever since.
“Bernard Harcourt, Hamm’s attorney,” The Daily Mail writes, “had warned ahead of time that cancer treatment had left him with compromised veins and that he was likely to be subjected to ‘cruel and needless pain’.”
Harcourt has now filed a law suit against the Alabama Department of Corrections on behalf of Hamm.
“According to an interview with Hamm carried out by Dr Mark Heath, an anesthesiologist from New York, on the night of the execution he was taken into a chamber with around nine people inside and strapped down to a gurney,” the Mail writes.
“Two men dressed in hospital scrubs then took a leg each and worked their way up attempting to find a vein.”
After those attempts failed, they brought in an ultrasound machine to find a vein in his groin.
Hamm claims he suffered many “probing advances” as the team attempted to find the veins with the needle.
“The continued probing was painful,” a medical examiner’s report notes. “One of the probing needle advances was extremely painful and he felt that the ‘shin bone’ in his right calf was reached by a needle.”
“He estimates that the probing in his right calf persisted for about 10 minutes and states that he could feel them ‘rolling and mashing’ the tissue in his leg.”
“Overall he estimates that the two men spent about 30 minutes attempting IV access in his lower extremities.”
“It is not clear whether local anesthetic was administered,” the report adds.
“Mr. Hamm felt the needle penetrating deep into his groin and pelvis. He stated that this probing was extremely painful.”
“During this time Mr. Hamm began to hope that the doctor would succeed in obtaining IV access so that Mr. Hamm could ‘get it over with’ because he preferred to die rather than to continue to experience the ongoing severe pain.”