Alabama inmate Doyle Hamm who survived ‘botched execution’ in 2018 dies of natural causes
Doyle Lee Hamm, 64, died of lymphoma for which he was being treated before his scheduled 2018 execution, which was botched by doctors
An Alabama death row inmate who survived an excruciatingly painful botched execution in 2018 has died of lymphoma at age 64.
Doyle Hamm had been battling an “extremely aggressive lymphoma” since 2014, according to his lawyer Bernard Harcourt.
Complications from the lymphoma ultimately contributed to Hamm’s death.
Hamm had been sentenced to death by lethal injection on February 22, 2018, but his execution was “failed,” and after several failed attempts to put a needle into his veins, the execution was called off as midnight approached.
It saw him stabbed 11 times in the leg and groin with needles as doctors struggled to find a vein.
Doyle Lee Hamm was stabbed 11 times in the leg and groin with needles during a botched execution in Alabama in February 2018
After medics couldn’t find a vein in Hamm’s legs, another team tried to find a vein in his groin with an ultrasound machine, leading to six more puncture wounds
Hamm, who was too weak to stand after the ordeal, continued to bleed from the groin an hour later and urinated blood, a medical examiner revealed.
Hamm’s lawyer had warned in advance that the cancer treatment had left him with compromised veins and that he would likely be exposed to “cruel and unnecessary pain.”
“The result was a agonizing, torturous botched execution that left him on the stretcher for two and a half hours while they picked and poked at his legs and groin, trying to find a vein,” Harcourt said. AL.com. “It was unscrupulous.”
The coroner’s report includes footage of Hamm’s injuries and a picture of his suffering.
After some time, an officer in the room speaking on a cell phone said the execution was called off, despite doctors protesting that they wanted to continue
Each puncture wound involved multiple ‘probing attempts’ as the needle was partially withdrawn and then pushed back in
“This was clearly a botched execution that can only be accurately described as torture,” Harcourt said in a statement after a doctor examined his client.
According to an interview with Hamm conducted by Dr. Mark Heath, a New York anesthetist, was taken to a room with about nine people in it on the night of the execution and strapped to a stretcher.
Two men dressed in hospital clothes then grabbed a leg each and worked their way up trying to find a vein.
He was stabbed five times in all, three on one leg and two on the other.
Hamm said each puncture involved multiple “penetrating advances” with the needle, partially withdrawing it and then reinserting it.
“The continuous polling was painful,” the report said. One of the probing needles was extremely painful and he felt a needle reach the ‘shin’ in his right calf.
Hamm was left with more than 11 punctures in his legs and groin, some of which may have entered his bladder or femoral artery
He said that during the failed attempt, Hamm “layed there praying and hoping that they would succeed because of the pain.” Hamm collapsed when they finally gave up and put him on a stretcher
Hamm said the ordeal was so painful he just wished doctors were ‘beyond it’
Two doctors took a leg each trying to find a vein, with one needle going so deep it touched Hamm’s shin bone
He estimates that the probing in his right calf lasted about 10 minutes and states that he could ‘roll and stomp’ the tissue in his leg.
“Overall, he estimates the two men spent about 30 minutes on an IV in his lower extremities.”
After the execution team admitted they couldn’t access a vein in his legs, a second team was brought into the room with an ultrasound machine.
The second team, made up of a man and a woman, then began scanning his groin for a vein before making an impression on his skin.
“The doctor put a needle in Mr. Hamm’s groin,” the report reads.
‘Mr. Hamm felt multiple needle insertions and with each insertion he felt multiple penetrating forward/retraction movements.
It is not clear whether local anesthetic was administered.
‘Mr. Hamm felt the needle penetrate deep into his groin and pelvis. He stated that this penetration was extremely painful.
When the execution finally began, it resulted in what Hamm’s attorney Bernard Harcourt described as “torture.”
Pictured are some of the spots where the execution team attempted to insert the lethal injection needle
“During this time, Mr. Hamm began to hope that the doctor would be able to get IV access so that Mr. Hamm ‘had it done,’ as he would rather die than continue to experience the lingering severe pain.”
Doctors had to request several new needles, and at one point Hamm started bleeding from the groin. The blood was enough to soak a pad that needed to be replaced.
After some time, an officer in the room speaking on a cell phone said the execution was being called off, despite doctors protesting that they wanted to continue.
The doctors were told to “go out” and left the room without applying pressure to the bleeding area or instructing Hamm to treat.
The victim, Patrick Cunningham, an employee of Anderson’s Motel in Cullman, Alabama, was shot in the head during a robbery that apparently raised about $410
Hamm had to be lifted off the stretcher because he was unable to stand and returned to his cell before being taken to the infirmary, where bandages were applied to his wounds.
About an hour after the execution, he urinated blood and later developed a chest cough as well.
Prisoners have constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment, and courts can decide whether certain execution techniques violate that right.
Hamm had been on death row since December 1987 when he was convicted of the murder of motel clerk Patrick Cunningham.
The victim, an employee of Anderson’s Motel in Cullman, Alabama, was shot in the head during a robbery that apparently raised about $410.
After the failed attempt, he was told there would be no future attempts to execute him.