Ohio Death Row Inmate Given One-Week Reprieve After Officials Fail to Find a Vein

art.ohio.executionRomell Broom, 52, was given a rare one-week reprieve when officials struggled for hours to find a vein strong enough to handle lethal injection. The scene was particularly grotesque for critics of the death penalty as Broom awaited his death for hours as he was pricked and probed. Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland eventually ordered the one-week delay to allow prison officials time to figure out the best vein to use to execute him.

Broom was convicted of raping and fatally stabbing a 14-year-old girl in East Cleveland, Ohio, in 1984. Broom reportedly tried to help the prison staff find a vein in his own execution.

The defense moved quickly when Broom’s lawyer in prison, Adele Shank (a particularly apt name for a prisoner lawyer), notified co-counsel Tim Sweeney that they could not find a vein at the Lucasville facility. They did an excellent job in moving to seek a termination of the procedure.

For some, this brings up memories of problems in May 2006 when Ohio officials took 90 minutes to find a vein in the execution of Joseph Clark, who was heard pleading with the officials “It don’t work.”

Then in 2007, officials in Ohio took two hours to find a vein for Christopher Newton’s execution.

These botched executions are often cited as magnifying the cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. However, courts have rejected such claims in the past and find that the state cannot anticipate every eventuality. Yet, Ohio’s persistent difficulties raise some question as to whether the state is less competent in executions or whether other states are less careful. The possibility of a vein not functioning fully can cause a horrific outcome where the inmate is not fully sedated and not given sufficient lethal doses to ensure rapid death.

I have previously written about the problem associated with lethal injection, here.

For the full story, click here.

147 thoughts on “Ohio Death Row Inmate Given One-Week Reprieve After Officials Fail to Find a Vein”

  1. Mr. Broome had his trial and was found guilty by a jury of his peers, who were presented with facts from the prosecuting attorney. They must have found it pretty compelling, he was found guilty and sentenced to die….

  2. We have trials because we are a civilized and democratic society. Those who are innocent go free, those who are guilty go to prison, in the case of Mr. Broome, death-row, awaiting execution..

  3. Billy wrote: “The DA and authorities have the right man 99.9% of the time.”

    Then why do we even bother to have trials?

  4. Amanda,

    Do you believe these murder charges are simply erroneous, or that the government has set about to frame your relative?

    You are correct that our system is simply too flawed to be used to deprive individuals of life. Our system is cannot adequately protect the innocent from becoming victims of our natural impulse to inflict great suffering and death on those who have murdered, and errors committed can never be corrected.

    I disagree with you that belief in God is useful in determining the role of a death penalty in a free society. Some versions of Christianity apparently permit (and perhaps encourage) the death penalty, and others do not.

  5. Amanda, if your realative is like most languishing on death row, he undoubtedly has an attorney that will frivolously blow tax payers money seeking an appeal, which he probably won’t get. He will then live for about a decade or more at the tax payers expense, watching ESPN, lifting weights, eating three squares a day, and waiting for family to visit him and cry over his plight. The world is about choices, he made some dreadful choices….

  6. Blah. Blah. Blah. I have heard this rhetoric before! Everyone who philosophically is opposed to the death penalty says the same thing, come up with a new slant, a new angle, at least make it interesting. If you have a family member who committed first degree murder and he is found guilty in a court of law, in a state that has the death penalty, good luck, because luck is what he will need if he is guilty. Usually, when a person is brought under control by the authorities, the family is shocked, sickened and embarassed. They don’t want to see a brother, cousin, or son put to death. It is an “extreme penalty”, that is meted out for those commit an “extreme crime”. The DA and authorities have the right man 99.9% of the time. Occasionally the wrong man is incarcerated and dies, but this is very, very infrequent and indicative of the fact that we live in an imperfect world, not a utopia. Deal…..

  7. “Let he without sin, cast the first stone”. I have children and a week ago I would have probably agreed with you all. However, in the past week a relative has been charged with two counts of capital murder (not children) that we know He could not have committed. Since that time, I have continuously researching the death penalty. It is horrific and shocking to see the people, accuse or convicted or actually put to death for crimes they did not commit and the grounds for those convictions are equally shocking. There are people fighting this and some have been exonerated while it was too late for others. I do not know if this man had any claims of innocence. However, I beleive that our system is too riddled and tainted with bias, prejudice, malice and human error to ever be allowed to make the decision of life or death. It is a vicious cycle of ending life. What if God was so condemning, judgmental and cruel as we are. He is not. But we are and should not attempt to step in his place.

  8. One more thought on the death penalty. I want to clear up any ambiguity. My contention is that the “death penalty” is a deterrent. It deters the perpetrator from being able to ever kill again. Once he/she is liquidated, he/she is deterred in perpetuity..

  9. Let’s look at Mr. Broome, this “charming man”. He brutally raped and murdered a 14 year old girl, somebody’s loving daughter. This daughter was cherished and loved and valued beyond measure. Because he was either horny or just P.O.’d at the world, he felt he had the right to rape and then savagely take her life. What do you do with “human offal” such as this. He is fortunate to live in the civilized society he does. He has spent a number of years watching cable T.V. and reading magazines and being provided “three hots and a cot” free of charge, by the tax payers of the great state of Ohio. Oh, boo-hoo! they couldn’t find a vein. Has anyone ever heard of a firing squad. Works wonders, they still use it in Utah!

  10. Some people, due to philosophical reasons are in opposition to the death penalty. I for one am not, I feel it is just and fitting, in fact I think it cruel and unusual to allow these “social deviants” to continue living, thereby jeopardizing the health and well being of others.

  11. An enormous amount of money is wasted “warehousing” these violent criminals. It is ludicrous and cruel to let them languish for years when on death row. They should be executed within twelve months of the sentence, if not sooner.

  12. Read the article buddhaislaughing, found it interesting. Clearly the journalist who wrote it has his own bias, especially coming from the state of New York, a state without capital punishment.

  13. When I referenced the “death penalty” as a deterrent, I was applying it solely to the perpetrator of the act, not the demographics of the “entire” country…..

  14. The vast majority of people executed are in fact executed for “murder one”. Sadly a “few” may have been put to death for a crime never committed, never said the law was perfect, but what is?

  15. Deterrence is not overstated, it is a simple fact. Whether or not you support the death penalty or not, it is still a deterrent. Why would I be wise not to speak to your sensibilities, I assume you are a sensible man?

  16. I have to say I don’t understand Strickland on this issue. In many ways he’s done a great deal of good for Ohio. The Ohio ACLU has been on his case, in person and by letter/e-mail since he came into office. Here’s some contact info from the ACLU:

    “Ohio had its third botched execution in as many years. It is unacceptable to put people to death under a system that is fundamentally flawed.

    Please call Governor Ted Strickland and tell him to put an immediate stop to all executions indefinitely. His number is (614) 466-3555…”

  17. Have people been convicted for crimes they didn’t commit? Yes we all know that. Have people been executed for crimes they didn’t commit? No doubt. However they are far from innocents. They had been convicted or charged with other simular crimes which is why they were looked at in the first place. If your worried it could happen to you some day then how about not committing crimes.

  18. Henry,

    By felony in progress, I mean use of deadly force to save a life or defend one’s life. Not procedural per se, but state sanctioned.

    Treason is the utmost exception because it is in essence an attack on the system itself that protects us. There’s a reason Dante dedicated the final level of Hell to be ‘Treason to Benefactor.’

  19. I am not talking about psychosis induced through chemical or substance abuse. I am talking about predators, who are diagnosed with a personality disorder, the disorder is antisocial personality disorder. If these individuals take life for personal pleasure, I believe that individual would have to die. The death penalty is a deterrent, once the perpetrator is liquidated, they are permanently deterred. You like…..

Comments are closed.