Alabama inmate endured "torture" during botched execution, attorney says

By: Associated Press
March 5, 2018

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- A lawyer for an Alabama inmate whose lethal injection was halted after staffers could not connect an intravenous line says his client should not face a second date in the death chamber.

An attorney for Doyle Lee Hamm wrote in state and court filings Monday that Hamm had experienced "torture" during the failed attempt to execute him Feb. 22.

Bernard Harcourt said attempting the procedure again would violate a constitutional ban on cruel punishment.

Hamm has damaged veins from lymphoma and past drug use.

A doctor hired by the prisoner's legal team wrote that Hamm had 11 puncture sites and bled heavily from his groin after the first attempt. Photos submitted to the court showed Hamm's feet were blackened.

Records from Georgia show that it typically takes that state less than 20 minutes to prepare an inmate for lethal injection, although there have been exceptions. In 2016, it took more than an hour to prepare a 72-year-old inmate when staff were unable to insert an IV in one arm and ended up connecting to a vein in his groin.

Alabama carries out executions by lethal injection unless an inmate requests the electric chair.

Hamm was convicted in the 1987 killing of motel clerk Patrick Cunningham. Cunningham was shot once in the head while working an overnight shift at a Cullman motel. Police said $410 was taken during the robbery. 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.