No Second Chances: What to Do After a Botched Execution

Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. The state shouldn't get a second chance.
The pathos and problems of America's death penalty were vividly on display yesterday when Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. Immediately after its failure Gov. John Kasich set June 5, 2019, as a new execution date.
This plan for a second execution reveals a glaring inadequacy in the legal standards governing botched executions in the United States.
Campbell was tried and sentenced to die for murdering 18-year-old Charles Dials during a carjacking in 1997. After Campbell exhausted his legal appeals, he was denied clemency by the state parole board and the governor.
By the time the state got around to executing Campbell, he was far from the dangerous criminal of 20 years ago. As is the case with many of America's death-row inmates, the passage of time had inflicted its own punishments.
The inmate Ohio strapped onto the gurney was a 69-year-old man afflicted with serious ailm…

Arizona: Man sentenced to death in 2011 death of 10-year-old locked in storage box

PHOENIX - A Phoenix man was sentenced to death Thursday in the 2011 death of a 10-year-old girl who was locked in a storage box in sweltering summer heat.
Jurors in Maricopa County Superior Court deliberated for only a few hours before deciding that John Allen should get the death penalty.
The jury previously determined that Ame Deal's death was especially cruel or heinous.
Allen, 29, was convicted of first-degree murder and child abuse on Nov. 8.
His 28-year-old wife, Sammantha Allen, was a cousin of Deal's and was convicted of murder in the girl's death in June. She's now the third woman on Arizona's death row.
Prosecutors said the couple forced Ame into the small, plastic box as punishment for stealing ice pops. They went to sleep and the girl was found dead the next morning.
Defense attorney Robert Reinhardt had argued that John Allen, a father of four young children, did not intend for the girl to die and that the other adults in the home created the abusive …

Paintings from executed Bali 9 man Myuran Sukumaran to hang in Bendigo Art Gallery

Artworks Bali Nine drug smuggler Myuran Sukumaran painted in the days before he was executed will go on show in Bendigo in an exhibition dedicated to the death penalty and human rights. 
Mr Sukumaran faced an Indonesian firing squad alongside fellow Australian Andrew Chan in 2015 after they were both found guilty of orchestrating a plot to bring more than eight kilograms of heroin into Australia. 
While awaiting his fate in Kerobokan prison and on island prison Nusa Kambangan, Mr Sukumaran turned to art, becoming a prolific portraitist. 
Some of these harrowing works, which reveal the man’s torment in the days before his death, will feature in the Another Day in Paradise exhibition bound for Bendigo Art Gallery.
Artist Ben Quilty is one of the curators and mentored the executed man during his time in prison.  
The exhibition will also feature works from Australian artists Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Megan Cope, Jagath Dheerasekara, Khaled Sabsabi, and Matthew Sleeth.  
“Another Day in Par…

Nevada releases detailed manual on how it plans to execute death row inmate

Nevada Department of Corrections officials have released a detailed manual laying out how they plan to conduct the state’s first execution in 11 years.
The 57-page document, dated Nov. 7 and unsealed by a judge last week, has been sought by groups anxious to ensure the state’s rare use of the death penalty happens in a humane manner. 
Critics include the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, which is petitioning the governor to stop the impending execution of 46-year-old Scott Dozier because two possible lethal injection drug combinations under consideration have never before been used in capital punishment.
Clark County District Court Judge Jennifer Togliatti ordered last week that the third drug in the lethal cocktail shouldn’t be used, and the Nevada Department of Corrections is appealing that decision to the Nevada Supreme Court. 
The execution, originally scheduled to take place on Tuesday, is now on indefinite hold pending a further order of the high court.
Dozier, who was …

A Travelling Executioner

Hilton Butler experienced the history of US executions like few others, assisting with Louisiana’s portable electric chair and then overseeing executions as the Warden of Angola, the state’s largest penitentiary. 
In 2002 I interviewed him at the Angola Prison museum for my documentary series The Executionersand this is an edited transcript.
Q. How did you first become involved in execution work?
“Well, in 1955 I was assigned as a young officer to go around to where the crime was committed. The chair was transported to wherever the crime was committed, at that time and there was a Captain [Ephie] Foster that was in charge of the chair and I was assigned to go with him and transport the chair to wherever the crime was committed.”
[Note: Prison guard Foster was responsible for the drunken botched execution of Willie Francis in 1946. Whilst Foster may have sometimes been involved in transporting the chair to executions in the 50’s, the executioner was usually Grady H. Jarratt]
Q. Why were…

Ohio: Alva Campbell execution delayed indefinitely

After an hour of failed attempts, prison officials could not find a suitable vein in Alva Campbell’s arms.  His lethal injection has been "called off."
Alva Campbell's execution is delayed indefinitely.
LUCASVILLE — After prison officials couldn’t find a suitable vein, Alva Campbell’s scheduled execution by lethal injection Tuesday was called off.

The execution effort was halted after prison personnel spent at least 25 minutes trying to find a suitable vein in both of Campbell's arms and in his right leg. They appeared to palpate veins in both arms and the right leg.

As personnel worked on his leg, after stopping with his arms, Campbell removed his glasses and held his hand to his eyes, wiping his eyes.

A staff member patted him on the shoulder and 2 others shook Campbell's hand. Campbell then put on his glasses and sat with his hands in his lap as his pants leg was rolled down and sock pulled up.

Prisons director Gary Mohr said the team did its best but the cond…

U.S.: The Skewed Politics of the Death Penalty

Alfred Dewayne Brown was condemned to death in 2005 after his conviction for killing a Houston police officer and a store clerk in a botched robbery in Texas. He spent a decade trying to prove his innocence, but it was only when an attorney named Brian Stolarz took his case and helped uncover the records of a phone call that proved he wasn't anywhere near the scene of the crime - records that had been concealed from the grand jury - that Brown was finally exonerated and released in 2015.
Stolarz' book about the case, Grace and Justice on Death Row (Skyhorse Publishing), arrives at a time when the movement for abolishing the death penalty continues to be stymied at the federal level - even as it has won more support in the states. In a conversation with TCR's Julia Pagnamenta, Stolarz discusses the outlook for the abolition of capital punishment in the U.S., how the politics of electing judges makes death sentences more likely, and how his Catholic faith influenced his own…