Last month, Doyle Lee Hamm walked out of an Alabama execution chamber alive. On Tuesday, the inmate's legal team said a private settlement had been reached to ensure the state won't try to execute Hamm again. Hamm, sentenced to death for killing a motel clerk during a 1987 robbery, was scheduled for execution Feb. 22; his death warrant expired at midnight. Alabama Department of Corrections officials said they called off the lethal injection execution because they didn't have enough time to prepare before the warrant expired, but Hamm's legal team say officials actually did make multiple attempts to get an IV in him and ultimately failed. One of Hamm's lawyers called it a "gory, botched," and very bloody attempt to put the inmate to death, and his team says it left him in extreme pain and psychological distress and possibly suffering from an infection.
The settlement puts an end to Hamm's resulting lawsuit against the state. "In a private, confidential settlement agreement that I signed with the attorneys from the Alabama Attorney General’s office, we resolved all of our differences and have jointly dismissed all the state and federal litigation in Doyle Hamm’s cases," Hamm's attorney Bernard Harcourt said in a statement Tuesday, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. Hamm's team argued in court that attempting to put him to death a second time would violate the Fifth Amendment's double jeopardy clause as well as the constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The Attorney General's office has not yet commented, but the Advertiser notes that court documents show Hamm's claim for monetary damages was dismissed. "I will say that Doyle, his family, and his legal team are extremely relieved," reads Harcourt's statement, per the AP. (Read more execution stories.)