Death row execution abandoned after multiple lethal injection attempts fail

Death row execution abandoned after multiple lethal injection attempts fail

The execution of one of the longest-serving death row inmates has been called off after prison officials were unable to deliver his lethal injection.

Thomas Eugene Creech, who has been convicted of five murders and is suspected of several more, was due to be executed at 10am local time in a maximum-security Idaho prison.

But the execution was abandoned at 10.58am after prison officials were unable to place the catheter into a vein.

The 73-year-old’s death warrant will now expire.

Reporters permitted to witness the attempted execution said the IV sites appeared to be in the crook of his arms, his hands, near his ankles and in his feet.

They said that at one point, the medical cart holding supplies was moved in front of the media witness viewing window, partially obscuring the view of the medical team’s efforts.

An official also had to leave the execution chamber to gather more supplies.

Each attempt to insert an IV took several minutes and saw the medical team clean the skin with alcohol, inject a numbing solution, clean the skin again and then attempt to successfully place the IV catheter in a vein.

Creech was seen repeatedly looking at his family members and representatives, who were sitting in a separate witness room during the process.

Although his arms were strapped to the table, he frequently extended his fingers toward them, sometimes in a half-wave, sometimes just reaching.

He appeared to mouth “I love you” to someone in the room on occasion.

After the decision to halt the execution, the warden approached Creech and whispered to him for several minutes, giving his arm a squeeze.

Creech’s attorneys immediately filed a new motion for a stay in U.S. District Court, saying “Given the badly botched execution attempt this morning, which proves IDOC’s inability to carry out a humane and constitutional execution, undersigned counsel preemptively seek an emergency stay of execution to prevent any further attempts today.”

The Idaho Department of Corrections said in a statement: “At approximately 11am, Director Tewalt, after consulting with the medical team leader, determined that the medical team could not establish an IV line, rendering the execution unable to proceed.

“Mr Creech will be returned to his cell and witnesses will be escorted out of the facility. As a result, the death warrant will expire. The State will consider next steps.”