Friday, September 18, 2009

The botched attempt to execute Romell Broom

Romell Broom (pictured) was to be executed at 10 AM on Tuesday, September 15, in Ohio. The execution was delayed as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit considered granting him a hearing. When that temporary stay was lifted, the execution process began again with a searching for a suitable vein in Broom's arm to insert an IV and to inject the lethal chemicals. However, after two hours of fruitless endeavor, the correctional officers were unable to complete the execution. Governor Ted Strickland intervened and granted a week-long stay of execution while the state evaluates its procedures. Ohio has had a series of problems with its lethal injection process.

New Revelations of Inmate's Struggles During Ohio Execution Attempt

More information is being reported about the botched execution-attempt of Romell Broom yesterday (Sept. 15) in Ohio. According to the Associated Press, the correctional officers encountered so much difficulty in finding a suitable vein for the lethal injection that, after an hour, Broom attempted to assist them by moving on his side, sliding the rubber tubing up and down his arm, and flexing his fingers. A vein was found, but it collapsed as the technicians inserted a saline solution. Broom’s assistance did not help, and he turned on his back and covered his face with both hands. He appeared to be in distress and wiped his eyes. One of the execution team handed him a roll of toilet paper, which he used. The executioners attempted to use the veins in his legs and he grimaced. One of the team patted him on his back. Finally, the executions gave up their attempts, indicating they needed a break.

During the execution, one of Broom’s lawyers , Tim Sweeney, wrote Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer asking him to end the procedure. "Any further attempts today to carry out the execution of Mr. Broom would be cruel and unusual punishment in violation of . . . the U.S. Constitution," he wrote. "They would also violate Ohio's statutory requirement that a lethal injection execution is to be quick and painless." During the process, Broom requested that another of his lawyers, Adele Shank, come to the witness room. She witnessed Broom wince in pain several times. “It was obviously a flawed process," she said.

After 2 hours, Prison Director Terry Collins contacted Governor Ted Strickland who issued the last minute reprieve. "Difficulties in administering the execution protocol necessitate a temporary reprieve," said Strickland's Warrant of Reprieve, filed in court Tuesday afternoon. Collins thanked Broom for the respect he showed the execution team and for the way in which he handled the difficulties.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio asked state officials to immediately halt executions. "Ohio's execution system is fundamentally flawed. If the state is going to take a person's life, they must ensure that it is done as humanely as possible," ACLU counsel Carrie Davis said. "With three botched executions in as many years, it's clear that the state must stop and review the system entirely before another person is put to death."

Timeline for failed execution

Some events leading to Gov. Ted Strickland's decision to stop the Tuesday execution of Romell Broom because of difficulties finding a usable vein:


9:46 a.m.: Broom enters the holding cell 17 steps from the death chamber at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville after being transported from the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown.
11:49 a.m.: Medical staff find that Broom's veins appear to be accessible in his right arm but not as visible in his left.
12:17 p.m.: Broom learns that Gov. Ted Strickland has rejected a request for mercy.
4:01 p.m.: Broom eats a dinner of chicken stir fry, rice, butter, bread, pears and juice. Broom declined to order anything besides what other prison inmates were served.
7:12 p.m.: In a phone call to his brother, Broom says he "wants it to be over." According to guards observing him, Broom says he is "tired of being in prison and having people tell him what to do every day."


12:24 a.m.: Broom falls asleep after watching TV for about two hours.
5:08 a.m.: Broom awakens for the day.
5:51 a.m.: Broom is escorted to the shower.
6:27 a.m.: Broom eats breakfast of cereal.
8:07 a.m.: The chemicals used in Ohio executions -- thiopental sodium, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride -- are delivered to the death house.
9:31 a.m.: Execution preparations put on hold while the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals weighs a last-minute appeal request.
12:28 p.m.: Broom eats a lunch of creamed chicken, biscuits, green beans, mashed potatoes, salad and grape drink.
12:48 p.m.: The 6th Circuit says it will not review the appeal. Execution scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.
1:24 p.m.: First round of lethal drugs is destroyed.
1:31 p.m.: Replacement drugs are delivered to the death house.
2:01 p.m.: Medical team enters holding cell and begins trying to insert IVs.
2:30 p.m.: Unable to find a usable vein, team leaves the cell to take a break.
2:42 p.m.: Team members back in cell trying again.
2:44 p.m.: Prisons director Terry Collins tells the medical team to take another break.
2:49 p.m.: Broom wipes his face with a tissue, appears to be crying.
2:57 p.m.: Broom asks that his attorney, Adele Shank, be allowed to watch. Around 3 p.m.: Tim Sweeney, a Cleveland attorney also representing Broom, sends a letter to Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Moyer asking the court to stop the execution on the grounds that Broom is suffering cruel and unusual punishment.
3:04 p.m.: Shank speaks with prisons lawyer Austin Stout, who informs her execution policy doesn't allow lawyers to have contact with inmates after the execution process has started.
3:11 p.m.: Execution team members say they are having problems keeping a vein open because of Broom's past drug use.
3:33 p.m.: Shank is taken to the witness viewing area.
4:07 p.m.: Collins consults with Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and the Ohio attorney general's office.
4:24 p.m.: Strickland issues one-week reprieve.
5:59 p.m.: Broom eats a dinner of veggie nuggets, lima beans, bread, cookies and juice.

Source (for all): DPIC


KCADP said...

It's absolutely barbaric that Ohio is going to try to go through that whole ordeal again--especially when the death penalty serves no purpose.

Susanne said...

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