Judges seek more information on planned Alabama execution

Lynette PayneFeb 26, 2018

Hamm's attorney has argued that lethal injection would be unconstitutionally painful because lymphoma, drug use and hepatitis C have compromised Hamm's veins.

The officials at the Holman Correctional Facility determined there was insufficient time to prepare the inmate and have postponed the execution. "I wouldn't necessarily characterize what we had tonight as a problem".

"This is exactly what I have been saying since July".

The scheduled execution for Doyle Lee Hamm, however, was delayed as the U.S. Supreme Court considers his request to block the execution.

Doyle Lee Hamm, 61, was scheduled to be put to death at 6 p.m. for the 1987 slaying of motel clerk Patrick Cunningham in Cullman, Ala. "Shortly before 11:30 p.m., Department of Corrections officials and guards could be seen conferring, though it was not immediately clear what was happening".

The state has said that it's willing to adjust the injection process by connecting an intravenous line to Hamm's legs or feet.

"The court's independent medical expert reported that Mr Hamm has accessible peripheral veins in his lower extremities, and that the peripheral veins in his upper extremities, while accessible, would be more hard to access and would require a more advanced practitioner using ultrasound guidance", US Chief District Judge Karon O Bowdre wrote in her order on Tuesday.

He was diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma in 2014. Mr Harcourt also argued that the state should not kill a man already dying with cancer.

Doyle Lee Hamm is scheduled to be executed on Thursday.

A court-appointed doctor examined Hamm on February 15 and found he had usable veins, according to court filings. Police said $410 was taken during the robbery.

If the three executions are carried out, it will be the first time in eight years that three executions happened on the same day, the non-profit organization reported.

In Florida, Eric Scott Branch was given a lethal injection Thursday evening. Hamm gave police a confession and he was convicted after two accomplices testified against him in exchange for being allowed to plead guilty to lesser offenses, according to court documents. The appeal was denied as the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the new system of sentencing did not apply to inmates sentenced to death before 2002, according to AP. Branch was convicted of the rape and fatal beating of University of West Florida student Susan Morris, 21, whose naked body was found buried in a shallow grave near a nature trail.

The jury in his murder case recommended the death penalty by a 10-2 vote under Florida's old capital punishment system, which was ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in 2016.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, however, granted clemency for inmate Thomas Whittaker.

If executions set for Alabama, Texas and Florida were carried out as scheduled, it would have marked the first time in more than eight years that three convicted killers were put to death in the USA on the same day.

Associated Press writer Jay Reeves contributed from Birmingham.

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