Jail staff in Alabama gave up trying to kill convicted murderer Doyle Lee Hamm, 61, who has cancer, after failing to find a vein to inject the toxins.
A death row inmate who survived a “botched injection” has revealed the horrific injuries he suffered as jail staff tried to administer the lethal injection.
Convicted murderer Doyle Lee Hamm, 61, was left in agony as executioners repeatedly stabbed a needle into his groin, ankles and lower legs for two-and-a-half hours.
They eventually gave up at 11.30pm when medics said they could not meet a midnight execution deadline set by the Supreme Court in Alabama, US.
Hamm’s lawyer says the experience amounted to “torture” and caused “great pain”.
The inmate, who has lymphatic cancer, was left “bruised, punctured and limping” with a suspected perforated bladder that caused him to urinate blood afterwards, according to his defence team.
Court photos show bruising and cuts on Hamm’s hands, arms, legs and feet.
Hamm was due to be executed on Thursday for the murder of motel clerk Patrick Cunningham in 1987.
But at 11.30pm that day it was called off because medical staff did not think they could “obtain the appropriate venous access” before a midnight deadline.
Just two hours earlier, the execution was given the go ahead by the US Supreme Court.
The state prison commissioner blamed a “time issue” for the last minute delay, however, Hamm’s lawyer spoke out about “the butchery” which caused the inmate “great pain”.
Attorney Bernard Harcourt said he has argued since July that the lethal injection should not be carried out because Hamm’s veins were badly damaged following his cancer battle, hepatitis and past drug use.
The lawyer said: “This went beyond ghoulish justice and cruel and unusual punishment. It was torture.
“This is an abomination and Alabama should immediately halt all lethal injection in the state.”
Mr Harcourt claimed two executioners worked on both sides of Hamm’s body to try and find a vein.
They tried multiple times to insert the intravenous line on his life and right legs and ankles before turning him over onto his stomach and slapping the back of his legs to try and find a vein.
They then unsuccessfully tried to connect the line through his groin which resulted in severe bleeding and pain, reported NBC News .
Mr Harcourt tweeted on Saturday that a medical exam into “the butchery” will be conducted.
Following the last minute cancellation, he posted a selfie with Hamm’s brother, Danny, onto the social media site.
After meeting up with Hamm on Friday, he told local reporters: “He’s in great pain from yesterday evening, physically, from all of the attempts to access his veins in his lower extremities and in his groin.”
Hamm was convicted 31 years ago after an armed robbery in which Mr Cunningham was shot in the head while working an overnight shift at a motel.
According to court documents, Hamm gave police a confession and was convicted after two accomplices testified against him in exchange for being allowed to plead guilty to lesser offenses.
Records from Georgia show it typically takes that state less than 20 minutes to prepare an inmate for lethal injection, although there have been reported exceptions.