Ohio death row inmate, 64, who survived a botched lethal injection execution attempt in 2009 dies of possible COVID-19 complications

 An Ohio death row inmate who survived an attempt to execute him by lethal injection in 2009 died on Monday from possible COVID-19 complications. 

Romell Broom, 64, has been placed on the 'COVID probable list' by the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, spokesperson Sara French said Tuesday.

Inmates on that list are suspected to have died of COVID-19, pending a death certificate, she said. The state says 124 inmates have died from confirmed or probable cases of the coronavirus. 


Broom survived a lethal injection procedure in Ohio on September 15, 2009, and at the time was only the second inmate nationally to survive a modern-day execution.

He was sentenced to die for raping and killing 14-year-old Tryna Middleton after abducting her in Cleveland in 1984 as she walked home from a football game with two friends. 

Ohio death row inmate Romell Broom, 64, who survived a lethal injection execution attempt in 2009, died on Monday from possible COVID-19 complications. Broom pictured in this undated photo
Broom was sentenced to die for raping and killing 14-year-old Tryna Middleton (above) after abducting her in Cleveland in 1984 as she walked home from a football game with two friends

Ohio death row inmate Romell Broom, 64, who survived a lethal injection execution attempt in 2009, died on Monday from possible COVID-19 complications. Broom (left in undated photo) was sentenced to die for raping and killing 14-year-old Tryna Middleton (right) after abducting her in Cleveland in 1984 as she walked home from a football game with two friends

The execution was called off after two hours when technicians could not find a suitable vein, and Broom cried in pain while receiving 18 needle sticks.  

Broom was returned to death row, where he fought unsuccessfully to avoid a second execution. 

His most recent execution date was in June, but in the spring Republican Gov. Mike DeWine issued a reprieve and set a new date in March 2022.

His attorneys filed arguments with the U.S. Supreme Court that he should be spared a second attempt.

Broom survived the 2009 execution 'only to live with the ever-increasing fear and distress that the same process would be used on him at his next execution date,' attorneys Timothy Sweeney and Adele Shank said in a statement.

'Let his passing in this way, and not in the execution chamber, be the final word on whether a second attempt should ever have been considered,' they said.


Ohio is now under a de facto death penalty moratorium as DeWine has said lethal injection is no longer an option because of the state's inability to find drugs. He says lawmakers would have to choose a new method.

In 2009, the execution team began working on Broom, in a holding cell 17 steps from the execution chamber, at about 2pm, four hours after his execution's originally scheduled time due to a final federal appeals request, as per Death Penalty Info.

Broom even assisted his executioners by trying to help them find veins. When his help made no difference, he turned onto his back and covered his face with his hands. His torso heaved and his feet shook. He wiped his eyes and was handed a roll of toilet paper, which he used to wipe his brow.

Pricked: Doctors struggled for two hours in 2009 to find a suitable vein in which to inject Broom with lethal drugs. Above, the more than a dozen marks left behind by doctors after the failed execution attempt

Pricked: Doctors struggled for two hours in 2009 to find a suitable vein in which to inject Broom with lethal drugs. Above, the more than a dozen marks left behind by doctors after the failed execution attempt

When the technicians tried to use a vein in his leg, he grimaced, and a member of the execution team patted him on the back.

Since the introduction of the electric chair, three other death row inmates in the U.S. survived the first attempts to execute them after the process began.

At the time of Broom's botched 2009 lethal injection he was only the second inmate nationally to survive a modern-day execution

At the time of Broom's botched 2009 lethal injection he was only the second inmate nationally to survive a modern-day execution

On May 3, 1946 The execution of Willie Francis, 17, was called off after an improperly prepared electric chair failed to work in Louisiana. 

Francis was sentenced to die for the murder of St. Martinville, Louisiana, druggist Andrew Thomas, who once employed Francis. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to allow a second execution to proceed, rejecting double jeopardy arguments. Louisiana successfully executed the 18-year-old Francis by electric chair on May 9, 1947.

On November 15, 2017 the execution of Alva Campbell, 69, by lethal injection was called off after members of Ohio's execution team told the state prisons director they couldn't find a vein. 

Campbell was sentenced to die for the shooting death of 18-year-old Charles Dials during a 1997 carjacking. In preparation for Campbell's execution, the Ohio prisons department decided to provide him with a wedge-shaped pillow to help him breathe while he was put to death, because Campbell has chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder attributed to a decadeslong two-pack-a-day smoking habit.

On February 22, 2018 The Alabama execution of Doyle Lee Hamm, 61, who had battled lymphoma, was called off about 2 1/2 hours after the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the execution to proceed after prison officials announced they did not think they could obtain 'the appropriate venous access' before a midnight deadline. 

Hamm was sentenced to die for the 1987 slaying of motel clerk Patrick Cunningham.

Ohio death row inmate, 64, who survived a botched lethal injection execution attempt in 2009 dies of possible COVID-19 complications Ohio death row inmate, 64, who survived a botched lethal injection execution attempt in 2009 dies of possible COVID-19 complications Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 07:06 Rating: 5

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