Alabama inmate who survived botched execution dies of cancer

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Alabama inmate who survived botched execution dies of cancer

An Alabama death row inmate who survived a botched execution attempt four years ago has died of cancer.

Doyle Hamm, 64, died on Sunday after a years-long battle with an “extremely aggressive lymphoma,” his lawyer Bernard Harcourt said in a statement.

His lawyer said complications from the cancer contributed to Hamm’s death.

Doyle Lee Hamm was spared execution because staff could not find a suitable vein in which to inject him.
Doyle Lee Hamm was spared execution because staff could not find a suitable vein in which to inject him.
Alabama Department of Corrections via AP

Hamm, who was jailed at the Donaldson Correctional Facility for three decades, had been scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection in 2018.

It was halted after the execution team punctured Hamm 11 times trying to find a usable vein over 2 1/2 hours, leaving him covered in bruises.

“The result was an agonizing, torturous botched execution that left him on the gurney for two-and-a-half hours as they picked and prodded at his legs and groin, trying to find a vein,” his lawyer said at the time.

“It was unconscionable.”

Hamm was already terminally ill when the botched execution took place, his lawyer said.

His attorneys had tried to argue that Hamm’s history of lymphoma, hepatitis and drug use had compromised his veins to the point that lethal injection would be unconstitutionally painful or impossible.

The state attorney general’s office disputed that at the time, arguing Hamm’s cancer was in remission.

According to the jail, Doyle Lee Hamm died due to lymphoma.
According to the jail, Doyle Lee Hamm died due to lymphoma.
Courtesy of Bernard Harcourt

The state later agreed to a confidential settlement in 2018 after Hamm filed multiple lawsuits.

As part of the settlement, Hamm avoided a second trip to the state’s death chamber.

Hamm had been sentenced to death over the 1987 fatal shooting of motel clerk Patrick Cunningham. The victim, who was working an overnight shift at Anderson’s Motel in Cullman, Alabama, was shot in the head during a robbery. 

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