The law can sometimes be very hazy when a lethal execution is botched. There aren’t many instances when this happens, and there are also moral codes that prevent the Supreme Court from sentencing a man to death, two times in a row. But even though some pleaded double jeopardy, Ohio ruled for re-execution of Romell Broom.
Back in 2009, Romell Broom was sentenced to death after being declared guilty or raping and murdering a 14 years old girl. The man was sent to death row and awaited his sentence to be carried out. But something, maybe divine intervention, perhaps a history of abuse, caused the execution to fail.
As the man was sitting on the table, strapped and ready, the doctors who were supposed to administer the deadly cocktail of lethal substances tried to find a vein where they could introduce the needle. But their efforts were in vein. No matter how long they tried, they weren’t able to insert the perfusion into Broom’s body.
After more than two hours of futile attempts, the execution was declared botched, and Broom was sent back to his cell on death row awaiting further instructions. Seven years later, Ohio ruled for a re-execution because the double jeopardy exception doesn’t apply to the man.
In order to qualify for a double jeopardy pardon, Broom’s life had to be put in jeopardy the first time. But since the needle never touched his skin, the judges decided that the man should be executed again.
The problem is that the doctors did not establish the cause that led to the botched execution in the first place. So, since they still lack a possible cause of failure, the execution might not go well this time, as well.
Lethal injections have become something of a controversy in the last time. Ever since 2014 when an execution in Oklahoma went terribly wrong, the authorities are beginning to search for an alternative to the lethal dose of anesthetics.
The Oklahoma incident was gruesome. The man sentenced to death for shooting a 19 years old woman and then witnessing her being buried alive by his companions died not because of the injection, but because of a heart attack.
After being injected with a new cocktail of drugs, Clayton Lockett was declared unconscious. But a few minutes afterwards, he started grabbing his chest yelling that “Something is wrong”. Something was indeed because after more than half an hour of convulsions and screaming, Lockett died of a heart attack.
The Supreme Court of Ohio ruled for a re-execution in the case of Romell Broom. And this time, they are hoping that the event will actually take place.
Image source: www.flickr.com