Ohio temporarily delayed the execution of Alva Campbell, Jr. after several unsuccessful attempts to insert an IV.
This is only the third time in U.S. history that an execution has been called off after the process began.
Campbell was originally scheduled to be put to death at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. Gary Mohr of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction that the execution team was having difficulty accessing the veins of Campbell, who's reported to be in failing health.
Mohr says Campbell will be sent back to death row, and there will be consideration for a future execution date. David Stebbins, Campbell's lawyer, says he's happy to be alive.
Stebbins said Campbell wiped away tears after being informed the execution was being called off.
The ACLU of Ohio is calling on the state to put a stop to executions after the failed attempt, and Ohioans To Stop Executions said the state was warned Campbell's health issues were likely to cause problems.
Campbell was condemned for the April 2, 1997 fatal shooting of Charles Dials in Columbus. He would have been the third Ohio man killed after the state resumed executions this year, following a three-year delay in obtaining lethal injection drugs.
Prosecutors say Campbell feigned paralysis ahead of an appearance in the downtown Franklin County Courthouse on aggravated robbery charges. As he was being wheeled in, witnesses say Campbell sprang from his wheelchair, took a gun from a sheriff’s deputy, and forced the 18-year-old Dials to drive him around the city for three hours.
Dials was later found fatally shot on the floor of his truck.
In appeals for mercy, Campbell’s attorneys cited his failing health and abusive upbringing as reasons for spare his life. Appeals courts and the Ohio Parole Board disagreed, as did Gov. John Kasich, who denied clemency for Campbell.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stop the execution.
Campbell was to be provided a wedge-shaped pillow to help him breathe as he's put to death. The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is allowing the pillow because of breathing issues he could experience while lying flat.
A prisons doctor has said the 69-year-old Campbell has chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder as the result of a decades-long smoking habit.