Botched execution survivor hopes to once again cheat death, legally

Death row inmate Romell Broom © Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
Romell Broom is a dead man walking. He was meant to be executed seven years ago, but after the state spent two hours and 18 attempts to find a vein, he exited the execution room alive. Now he is trying to keep the state of Ohio from trying again.

Broom’s botched execution in 2009 may have allowed him to live to see 2016, but whether he will get to keep going is another matter. Claiming that attempting to execute him a second time would constitute cruel and unusual punishment, his lawyer petitioned on Tuesday to appeal to the US Supreme Court to remove him from death row, the Associated Press reported.

Broom, 60, pled his case in March to the Ohio Supreme Court, which determined that the state could try again. The 4-3 ruling rejected his claims that another execution attempt would be unconstitutional, because they claimed that the 18 attempts to insert needles and other mistakes occurred during preparation for his execution and not the actual procedure.

"Because Broom's life was never at risk since the drugs were not introduced, and because the state is committed to carrying out executions in a constitutional manner, we do not believe that it would shock the public's conscience to allow the state to carry out Broom's execution," Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger wrote in the majority opinion.

The attempts to insert the needle into Broom allegedly caused him enough pain that he began screaming and crying.

"The day they tried to execute him was horrendous," Broom's lawyer Adele Shank told CNN. 

She believes that the botched attempt constitutes double jeopardy, or punishing someone for a crime twice.

Broom was found guilty of aggravated murder in connection to the abduction, rape and murder of 14-year-old Tryna Middleton in 1985.