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After Failed Attempt, Kasich Reschedules Execution Of Alva Campbell Jr. For 2019

Jo Ingles
Ohio Public Radio
Death penalty opponents protested a planned execution on July 26.

After months of warnings that 69-year-old Alva Campbell Jr. was too sick to be executed, the state tried and failed to carry out his lethal injection.

Campbell, who was convicted for a carjack killing of an 18-year-old in 1997, was in the execution chamber lying on the table for more than 20 minutes but the medical staff couldn’t find a viable vein.

Ohio prisons director Gary Mohr ended up calling off the execution and Gov. John Kasich, who was monitoring the attempt from a different location, ultimately issued a reprieve. He announced a new execution date has been set for June 2019.

This was only the third time in U.S. history that an execution has been called off after the process begun.

Lynn Hulsey of the Dayton Daily News says the staff tried to stick Campbell’s arm for a while, then tried his ankle.

“It’s just notable how gentle they were with him, and a couple of them you could see them reach out and pat him on the shoulder as they went through the process,” Hulsey says.

But the ACLU of Ohio, which opposes executions, called the process “torture” for Campbell, who reportedly suffers from numerous health problems. The ACLU immediately called for a moratorium on executions in the state.

Campbell's attorney, David Stebbins, said Campbell shook hands with execution team members and then wiped away tears after being informed the execution was being called off.

Stebbins says he doesn't know the significance of the new 2019 execution date other than it was free and in the near future. He says it gives Campbell's legal team time to figure out their next steps.

Campbell would have been the third death row inmate in Ohio executed after the state resumed lethal injections this year, following a three-year pause due to drug shortages.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.