Liliana Segura writes about the botched attempt last week by the state of Alabama at executing Doyle Lee Hamm, who had been on death row since 1987. What resulted was nothing less than torture as the state rushed to execute him before the midnight deadline for the execution warrant expired, all the while trying to hide what happened from his lawyer, his brother, and an outside anesthetist.
What is worse is that Hamm is terminally ill with cancer and has not long to live.
Hamm, 61, had large-cell lymphoma; the cancer had spread from his left eye to other parts of his body. After providing radiation, the state insisted the cancer was in remission and prioritized his execution over further treatment. Surgery scheduled for December to remove tumors on his chest was canceled — he received a death warrant that same day. Hamm’s illness compounded other problems: his veins were severely deteriorated, due in part to years of drug use, which would make inserting intravenous lines supremely difficult. There was one potentially viable vein in his hand, but nurses repeatedly reported having trouble using it to draw blood. The lethal injection would almost certainly not go according to plan.
I cannot even bring myself to quote what they did to Hamm as they tried to find a vein to inject the lethal drugs before giving up at 11:30 pm. There has been an increasing frequency of botched execution attempts across the nation that are similarly gruesome.
We are truly a barbaric people to allow this kind of thing to be done in our name.