Federal Judge Stays Hamm Execution

Feb 7, 2018

Death chamber at W.C. Holman Prison near Atmore, Ala.

A federal judge has stayed the upcoming execution of an Alabama man in order to have an independent medical expert review claims that he is too sick to be executed.

Chief U.S. District Judge Karon Bowdre made that ruling yesterday. A lawyer representing Doyle Lee Hamm argues lethal injection would be unconstitutionally cruel in Hamm’s case because battles with lymphoma and hepatitis C have severely compromised his veins. The lawyer also argues it would be inhumane to execute someone suffering from terminal cancer.

Hamm had been scheduled to be executed February 22 for the 1987 murder of motel clerk Patrick Cunningham. The state of Alabama argues there is no evidence Hamm’s condition has worsened to the point that he can’t be humanely executed.

Judge Bowdre says the medical expert will determine that.