Ohio set to execute inmate with walking, breathing problems
LUCASVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Ohio plans on Wednesday to execute a condemned killer who will be provided a wedge-shaped pillow to help him breathe as he’s put to death.
Inmate Alva Campbell was sentenced to die for killing a teenager during a carjacking two decades ago.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stop the execution. Last week, Republican Gov. John Kasich denied Campbell’s request for clemency.
Campbell arrived at the death house Tuesday at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, about 85 miles (137 kilometers) south of Columbus. In the afternoon he was calm, said prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith.
The brother, sister and uncle of Charles Dials, fatally shot by Campbell in 1997, will witness the execution, the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said. Four attorneys will witness on behalf of Campbell.
Campbell’s last meal, called a special meal in Ohio, includes pork chops, greens, sweet potato pie, mashed potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese and milk.
Campbell’s attorneys have warned the inmate’s death could become a spectacle because of his breathing problems and because an exam failed to find veins suitable for IV insertion.
They argued he was too ill to execute, and also should be spared because of the effects of a brutal childhood.
Campbell, 69, has chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder as the result of a decadeslong two-pack-a-day smoking habit, a prisons doctor has said.
Campbell’s attorneys say he uses a walker, relies on a colostomy bag, requires four breathing treatments a day and may have lung cancer.
Earlier this month, Campbell lost a bid to be executed by firing squad after a federal judge questioned whether lawmakers would enact the bill needed to allow the method.
Franklin County prosecutor Ron O’Brien called Campbell “the poster child for the death penalty.”
Prosecutors said his health claims are ironic given he faked paralysis to escape court custody the day of the fatal carjacking.
On April 2, 1997, Campbell was in a wheelchair when he overpowered a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy on the way to a court hearing on several armed robbery charges, records show.
Campbell took the deputy’s gun, carjacked the 18-year-old Dials and drove around with him for several hours before shooting him twice in the head as Dials crouched in the footwell of his own truck, according to court records.
Campbell was regularly beaten, sexually abused and tortured as a child, his attorneys have argued in court filings and before the Ohio Parole Board.
Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/awhcolumbus.