An ailing death row inmate in Ohio scheduled to be executed this week will get a pillow to help him breathe, officials said.
Alva Campbell, 69, will be executed by lethal injection on Wednesday at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Lucasville for the 1997 murder of a Columbus teen.
The prisoner suffers from a number of illnesses, including pulmonary problems that would cause labored breathing if he has to lie flat on the execution table.
A prison department spokeswoman said in a statement on Monday that officials will provide Campbell with a wedge-shaped pillow to help make his breathing easier.
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“At this time, (the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction) intends to use a wedge-shaped pillow on the gurney at Mr. Campbell’s execution,” JoEllen Smith told the Columbus Dispatch. “Mr. Campbell’s medical condition and history are being assessed and considered in order to identify any necessary accommodations or contingencies for his execution.”
Campbell, who uses a walker and undergoes breathing treatments, has tried unsuccessfully to stop the lethal injection execution because of his declining health. His attorneys have also said the prisoner may have lung cancer.
Last month, Campbell asked to be executed by firing squad because he has weak veins but the request was denied.
Medical professionals have noted that they have had a hard time finding suitable veins in Campbell’s arms and legs to administer the drug, but Smith told the Columbus Dispatch they are working to fix that issue.
Campbell has a long arrest record. He was sentenced to the death penalty after he faked being paralyzed to overpower a sheriff’s deputy and steal her gun before carjacking 18-year-old Charles Dials.
After riding around with Dials in the car for several hours, Campbell shot the teen twice in the head and tried to kidnap two more people.