US Supreme Court won't stop Ohio execution of sick inmate


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio started final preparations Tuesday for executing a sick inmate who will be provided a wedge-shaped pillow to help him breathe as he’s put to death this week.

Death row prisoner Alva Campbell appeared to be out of options, with the U.S. Supreme Court refusing on Tuesday afternoon to stop the execution. A message was left with Campbell’s attorneys seeking comment.

Campbell arrived at the state death house at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility earlier Tuesday. Prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said he was calm.

Campbell’s attorneys have argued he is too ill for a lethal injection and also that he should be spared because of a brutal childhood.

Campbell, 69, became mildly agitated when officials tried lowering him to a normal execution position during an exam last month, according to a medical review by a physician contractor for the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Dr. James McWeeney noted there were no objective findings such as increased pulse rate or breathing to corroborate Campbell’s anxiety. Nevertheless, he recommended allowing Campbell to lie “in a semi-recumbent position” during the execution.

The same exam failed to find veins suitable for inserting an IV on either of Campbell’s arms.

The brother, sister and uncle of Charles Dials, fatally shot by Campbell during a 1997 carjacking, will witness the execution in Lucasville, about 85 miles (137 kilometers) south of Columbus, the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said Tuesday.

Four attorneys will witness on behalf of Campbell.

Campbell’s last meal, called a special meal in Ohio, includes pork chops, greens, sweet potato pie, mashed potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese, and milk.

Campbell has severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder as the result of a decades-long two-pack-a-day smoking habit, the prison’s doctor said.

Campbell’s attorneys said he uses a walker, relies on a colostomy bag, requires four breathing treatments a day and may have lung cancer.

The attorneys have warned that Campbell’s death could become a “spectacle” if guards are unable to find suitable veins in the sick inmate’s arms.

Earlier this month, Campbell lost a bid to be executed by firing squad after a federal judge questioned whether lawmakers would enact the bill needed to allow the method.

Prisons department spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said Monday that Campbell’s “medical condition and history are being assessed and considered in order to identify any necessary…



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