Doyle Lee Hamm was reportedly left in 'great pain' following what his lawyer claims was a 'botched' execution that amounted to 'torture'. The convicted murderer was all set for the lethal injection in Alabama on Thursday, but prison medical staff reportedly couldn't find a vein that could carry the deadly cocktail into his system.
When no vessel was found on the 61-year-old's arms, staff flipped him over and started looking everywhere for a vein, including his legs, ankles and even his groin.
Following the failed execution, Hamm's attorney Bernard Harcourt visited him in prison and brought a medical expert to assess the damage of what he says was two and a half hours of being poked and prodded with needles.
Credit: Court Documents
Credit: Court Documents
Pictures have been released showing Hamm's lack of visible veins on his hands and arms, as well as the entry points that prison staff attempted during the procedure.
Writing on a Columbia Law blog, Mr Harcourt said: "The IV personnel almost certainly punctured Doyle's bladder, because he was urinating blood for the next day. They may have hit his femoral artery as well, because suddenly there was a lot of blood gushing out.
"There were multiple puncture wounds on the ankles, calf, and right groin area, around a dozen. They were grinding a needle in his shin area for many minutes, painfully.
"During the execution, Doyle was lying there praying and hoping that they would succeed because of the pain, and collapsed when they took him off the gurney."
The lawyer warned as far back as July last year that an execution in this style would be difficult, if not impossible, as the murderer is suffering from lymphoma, hepatitis and was previously an intravenous drug user - all issues that can affect a person's veins.
Despite these warnings, the State cracked on with the execution and lo and behold, couldn't carry it out.
Credit: Mississippi Department of Corrections
Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn said the procedure was in no way 'botched', telling reporters that the delay was the result of 'a lot of moving parts in respect to the protocol'.
Mr Harcourt says it was directly the opposite of what Commissioner Dunn said, saying: "This went beyond ghoulish justice and cruel and unusual punishment.
"It was torture. It was precisely the kind of torture that the UN Human Rights Rapporteurs had warned about to the Governor of Alabama."
The 61-year-old prisoner was given the death penalty for fatally shooting motel clerk Patrick Cunningham in 1987 during a robbery, where he made off with $410.