'Poster Child for the Death Penalty' May Die Sitting Up

Alva Campbell's execution is set for Nov. 15 in Ohio
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 2, 2017 7:31 AM CDT
'Poster Child for the Death Penalty' May Die Sitting Up
Death row inmate Alva Campbell   (Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction via AP)

Allowing a condemned killer with health problems to partially sit up during his execution next month would be a "reasonable" accommodation, according to a doctor working for Ohio's prison system. Death row inmate Alva Campbell—described by a Franklin County prosecutor as "the poster child for the death penalty"—became mildly agitated when officials tried lowering him to a normal execution position in an Oct. 19 test, according to a medical review by Dr. James McWeeney, per the AP. McWeeney noted there were no objective findings such as increased pulse rate or breathing to corroborate Campbell's anxiety. But he said he supported "a semi-recumbent position" for Campbell given his apparent agitation and "underlying pulmonary and mental health disorders."

Campbell's attorneys also say he uses a walker, relies on an external colostomy bag, requires four breathing treatments a day and may have lung cancer. The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said it "has taken Campbell's medical conditions under consideration for planning of possible accommodations for his execution." Campbell, 69, is scheduled to die Nov. 15 for fatally shooting 18-year-old Charles Dials during a 1997 carjacking. Paroled in 1992 after serving 20 years for killing a man in a Cleveland bar, Campbell overpowered a Franklin County sheriff's deputy on the way to a 1997 court hearing for armed robbery charges and took the deputy's gun. He then carjacked Dials before shooting him twice in the head, according to court records.

(More death row stories.)

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