MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama will not make a second attempt to put to death an ailing inmate who had his lethal injection halted last month when the execution team could not find a usable vein, his attorney said Tuesday.
Doyle Lee Hamm will not face a second trip to the state's death chamber under a settlement reached to end Hamm's lawsuit against the state, attorney Bernard Harcourt wrote in an email. The filing noted that Hamm's request for compensation had been dismissed, but the terms of the settlement were confidential.
"I will say that Doyle, his family, and his legal team are extremely relieved," Harcourt wrote.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall's office confirmed the agreement to dismiss the lawsuit, but did not respond to questions about what it meant for another execution date. "There is no further comment," a spokeswoman wrote in an email.
Harcourt had written in earlier court filings that Hamm had endured "torture" during the state's attempt to execute him on Feb. 22.
Hamm was scheduled to be put to death for the 1987 slaying of motel clerk Patrick Cunningham. His attorneys argued that Hamm's history of lymphoma, hepatitis and drug use had compromised his veins to the point that lethal injection would be unconstitutionally painful or impossible. The state disputed that.
However, Alabama halted the lethal injection after the execution team had trouble connecting the intravenous line. The announcement came about 2 ½ hours after the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the execution to proceed.
A doctor hired by Hamm's attorney wrote in a court filing that Hamm had at least 11 puncture wounds. The doctor said that Hamm said someone from the state announced that the execution was over after he began bleeding heavily from the groin.