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Alabama postpones execution of inmate with damaged veins

February 23, 2018

This image provided by the Alabama Department of Corrections shows Doyle Lee Hamm, an inmate scheduled to be executed Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 in Alabama. Alabama is set to execute Hamm, who argues his past drug use and cancer have too badly damaged his veins and will make the lethal injection unconstitutionally painful. (Alabama Department of Corrections via AP)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama halted the execution of an inmate who had argued that his veins were too damaged for lethal injection, because medical staff did not think they could connect the intravenous line by the time the death warrant expired at midnight.

Alabama Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn said the prison system halted Doyle Lee Hamm’s execution around 11:30 p.m. Thursday “out of an abundance of caution” after medical staff said they did not think they could obtain “the appropriate venous access” before midnight.

Bernard Harcourt, a law school professor representing Hamm, said the state should be “ashamed.”

Hamm was sentenced to die after being convicted of murder in the 1987 slaying of a motel clerk.

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