Franklin County prosecutor: Death row inmate Alva Campbell has died

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COLUMBUS -- Death row inmate Alva Campbell has died, according to Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien.

Campbell was scheduled to be executed in November but the execution was halted after a medical team spent 20 minutes searching for an accessible vein to administer the lethal drugs.

The Associated Press is reporting that Campbell died of natural causes.

Lawyers for Campbell and fellow death row inmate Raymond Tibbetts announced an appeal to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in November.

They appealed a judge's decision upholding the state's lethal injection system.

Campbell was on death row for the aggravated murder of 18-year-old Charles Dials in a 1997 carjacking in Franklin County.

He was using a walker, relying on an external colostomy bag, required breathing treatments for asthma and emphysema and may have lung cancer, the lawyers said in a filing with the Ohio Parole Board last year.

"We are all sad about Mr Campbell’s death although we were not surprised. Mr Campbell had many serious illnesses any one of which could have caused his death. As we suggested last fall, he had very little time left and executing him seemed pointless," Defense Attorney David Stebbins said in an emailed statement.

When Campbell's execution was called off last year, O'Brien said at the time that it was "ridiculous".

The Franklin County prosecutor said the state's hands are tied by this 21-page protocol, the result of years of legal battles, that details the process for lethal injection.

"The man was caught hours after the murder, the man confessed on videotape, and what we have is 20-plus years of delay," said O'Brien.

Stebbins, who witnessed the attempted execution, said the protocol is necessary.

"So that the method is not torturing the person while he's being executed," said Stebbins.

O'Brien said 20 years of what he calls frivolous legal issues led up to the failed execution.

Stebbins said there was no intentional delay, and argued 20-years isn't too long to make sure everything has been done by the book before the state takes a life.

Ohio Governor John Kasich had originally rescheduled Campbell's execution for June 2019.

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