State Watch

Ohio inmate who survived execution attempt died of possible COVID-19 complications

Ohio prison officials said death row inmate Romell Broom, who survived an attempt to execute him by lethal injection in 2009, died on Monday of possible COVID-19 complications at age 64. 

Sarah French, a spokesperson for the state prisons system, told The Columbus Dispatch that Broom had been placed on the “COVID probable list” maintained by the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. The list includes inmates who are suspected to have died of the coronavirus, pending death certificates.

Broom became the second inmate nationally to survive an attempted execution during in 2009.

Then 53 years old, the condemned inmate cried in pain during the unsuccessful attempt to put him to death via lethal injection, according to the outlet. The execution was called off after two hours because technicians could not find a suitable vein.

Bloom’s attorneys argued that he should not be subjected to a second execution attempt and filed arguments with the Supreme Court, The Dispatch noted.

Attorneys Timothy Sweeney and Adele Shank said in a statement that Broom survived in 2009 “only to live with the ever-increasing fear and distress that the same process would be used on him at his next execution date.”

“Let his passing in this way, and not in the execution chamber, be the final word on whether a second attempt should ever have been considered,” the lawyers said.

The Dispatch reported that since the introduction of the electric chair, only three other death row inmates in the United States survived first attempts to execute them after the process was initiated.

Broom was sentenced to capital punishment in 1984 after being convicted of raping and killing 14-year-old Tryna Middleton after abducting her in Cleveland.

The inmate returned to death row after his botched execution attempt and had a second date scheduled as recently as June. However, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) issued a reprieve and pushed it back to March 2022.

Earlier this month, DeWine announced that lethal injections will no longer be an option for capital punishment in the future.

“Lethal injection appears to us to be impossible from a practical point of view today,” DeWine said.

Tags Capital punishment Capital punishment in the United States coronavirus pandemic COVID-19 pandemic Execution chamber Lethal injection Mike DeWine Romell Broom
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