Is a second execution attempt cruel and unusual?
As executioners poked his limbs with an IV needle, Romell Broom initially tried to speed along his own demise, flexing his arm and tugging on a rubber tourniquet to better expose a vein on the inside of his elbow.
But as prison workers repeatedly failed to find a vein strong enough to take the lethal injections, the convicted rapist-murderer began to despair over his protracted end. Witnesses and the execution-team log from Tuesday describe how the 53-year-old winced and cried as a shunt inserted in his leg also failed to open a pathway for the fatal drugs.
Two hours and 23 minutes after it started, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland halted the execution and scheduled a second attempt for a week later.
The aborted execution has renewed concerns about lethal injection, and raises the question of whether a second execution attempt would violate the 8th Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.
You know, I never liked the idea of “medicalising” executions with lethal injection. Maybe if we’re going to have capital punishment the governor should have to personally hold a pistol to the prisoner’s head and pull the trigger.