Doctor approves of ill inmate sitting up during execution

Allowing a condemned killer with health problems to partially sit up during his execution next month would be a “reasonable” accommodation, according to a doctor working for Ohio’s prison system.

Death row inmate Alva Campbell became mildly agitated when officials tried lowering him to a normal execution position in an Oct. 19 test, according to a medical review by Dr. James McWeeney, a contractor for the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

McWeeney noted there were no objective findings such as increased pulse rate or breathing to corroborate Campbell’s anxiety.

“Nevertheless, given the events observed at this examination and the patient’s underlying pulmonary and mental health disorders, it would be reasonable to make an accommodation for the patient during the execution process that would permit him to lay in a semi-recumbent position,” the doctor wrote.

McWeeney also said a prison nurse’s exam failed to find veins suitable for inserting an IV on either of Campbell’s arms.

In 2009, problems placing an IV in the arms of death row inmate Romell Broom led to the cancellation of the execution after almost two hours and 18 needle sticks. Broom remains on death row, arguing in court the state shouldn’t be allowed a second attempt to execute him.

Campbell is scheduled to die Nov. 15 for fatally shooting teenager Charles Dials during a 1997 carjacking.

Campbell, 69, has severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder as the result of a decades-long two-pack-a-day smoking habit that finally stopped nine years ago, the doctor said.

Campbell’s attorneys also say he uses a walker, relies on an external colostomy bag, requires four breathing treatments a day and may have lung cancer.

Campbell’s health problems “could create a spectacle of a terminally ill man, with tourniquets on his arms and legs, being stabbed repeatedly to no avail,” defense attorney David Stebbins said Monday.

The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said it “has taken Campbell’s medical conditions under consideration for planning of possible accommodations for his execution.”

Campbell was regularly beaten, sexually abused and tortured as a child, Stebbins and other attorneys argued in court filings and before the Ohio Parole Board.

The board rejected Campbell’s request for mercy earlier this month. Republican Gov. John Kasich, who has spared some inmates while rejecting clemency for others, has the final say.

Prosecutors say Campbell’s health claims are ironic given he faked paralysis to escape court custody the day he killed Dials.

Campbell was paroled in 1992 after serving 20 years for killing a man in a Cleveland bar. On April 2, 1997, Campbell was in a wheelchair when he overpowered a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy on the way to a court hearing on several armed robbery charges, records show.

Campbell took the deputy’s gun, carjacked the 18-year-old Dials and drove around with him for several hours before shooting him twice in the head as Dials crouched in the footwell of his own truck, according to court records.

Franklin County prosecutor Ron O’Brien calls Campbell “the poster child for the death penalty.”


Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at


This story has been corrected to say that a prison nurse, not doctor, found veins suitable for IV insertion.

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Erika Hurt: Indiana Woman Says She’s One Year Sober After Heroin OD Photo Went Viral

Erika Hurt: Indiana Woman Says She's One Year Sober After Heroin OD Photo Went Viral

One year ago, Indiana resident Erika Hurt was fighting a losing battle against heroin addiction. And while a viral photo of someone slumped back in their car after a drug overdose could be a source of great embarrassment and scandal, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as it reportedly convinced the 26-year-old mother to turn her life around and get clean.

According to a report from the New York Post, the incident happened on October 22, 2016, when Hurt was found in the parking lot of a Dollar General, passed out in her car with a needle in her hand. As his mother apparently suffered from a heroin overdose, Hurt’s infant son Parker was shown in the picture as well, crying in the back seat.

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The Inquisitr

Woman writes tribute to nurses caring for her 2-year-old with cancer

Shelby Skiles was unable to sleep one recent night while staying with her 2-year-old daughter at Children’s Medical Center Dallas when she just began to write.

Skiles, 28, has spent nearly every night since May at the hospital after her only child, Sophie, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of T-cell lymphoma.

Skiles estimates she and her husband, Jonathan, have met hundreds of nurses throughout the course of Sophie’s treatment. The toddler is awaiting a stem cell transplant, after undergoing 15 rounds of chemotherapy that helped stop the progression of the cancer.

But, the intense chemotherapy left Sophie unable to walk, talk and eat on her own.

“It was like 3 a.m. and I was sitting on that uncomfortable couch in the hospital room and I couldn’t go to sleep,” Skiles said about the night this month she began to write. “I just started writing down what the nurses do and it just kept going.”

The list included more than just routine checkups.

“All the things I see them do for us and for other people,” Skiles wrote, “like the nurse who sat on the floor with me when I had a panic attack when we got the diagnosis.”

Skiles posted her letter of gratitude to nurses on a Facebook page she and her family created for Sophie called “Sophie the Brave.”

“I see you carrying arm loads of medicine and supplies into one child’s room all while your phone is ringing in your pocket from the room of another,” she wrote. “I see you put on gloves and a mask and try not to make too much noise at night … I see you stroke her little bald head and tuck her covers around her tightly.”

The post has now been shared more than 25,000 times.

“I thought, ‘Sophie’s page has a lot of followers so I’ll post this and bring awareness to what goes on in a children’s hospital and what nurses do especially when caring for sick kids,” Skiles said. “But I’ve been 150 percent shocked by how much attention it’s gotten.”

The post also caught the eye of the nurses caring for Sophie at Children’s Medical Center Dallas.

“I just am so grateful that she did that,” said Susan McCollom, clinical manager of the Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, who has helped treat Sophie. “Our job is very difficult, emotionally, physically and mentally and it kind of captured why we do our job and that what we do is not just a job.”

She added, “I’m very proud of my team, but not surprised because I know that’s what they do every day.”

Skiles said she expects Sophie to remain at the Dallas hospital until at least the end of January and then transfer to nearby housing. Once the stem cell transplant is complete, Sophie will need to continue undergoing therapy and live close to the hospital for checkups.

“It’s incredible to watch people put their lives on hold and completely care for kids that really, really need it,” Skiles said of the nurses she’s encountered so far. “And they care for the parents too.”

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Prison Staff Mocked And Laughed At Inmate Who Suffered A 91-Hour Erection

Inmate behind bars

An ex-inmate from the Pittsburg County Jail has filed a lawsuit over claims that prison staff did not get him medical attention he needed after suffering from a 91-hour erection. The man claims the staff mocked and laughed at him instead.

Dustin Lance is seeking $ 5 million over the incident which happened last year. The Tulsa World states Lance suffered permanent injury from the erection after the jail’s employees denied him medical care.

Lance filed a petition on Wednesday in the Pittsburg County District Court and described having an “unbearable pain” that was ignored by jail personnel. On December 15 last year, Lance took a pill from a fellow inmate. He began complaining to the prison guards about his pain the next morning.

Instead of getting Lance medical attention, the guards and staff reportedly mocked him and laughed at his “situation.”

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The Inquisitr

Former Connecticut Inmate Shares Story That Links Childhood Trauma To Adult Imprisonment

Child cowers in a dark corner with red socks beside them

Rob Sullivan, a former inmate at a Connecticut penitentiary, is no stranger to the confining walls of a prison cell. The New York Times has recently recounted Sullivan’s upbringing in a story that suggests his childhood tribulations are to blame for his juvenile adolescence and incarceration.

Tragedy had followed Sullivan since the tender age of six, when two thieves ransacked his father’s dope stash, holding Sullivan at gunpoint during the robbery. Sullivan recounts this time as nothing more than “chaotic.” This incident has proven to be the bedrock of Sullivan’s life as drug abuse and domestic violence followed him into adulthood.

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What to know about hepatitis A, as California outbreak triggers state of emergency

As California finds itself in the grips of the largest person-to-person hepatitis A outbreak in more than two decades, health officials are taking emergency measures to curb the spread of the deadly disease.

On Friday, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency in light of the outbreak that has killed at least 18 people, hospitalized 386 and infected at least 578 in the state as of this past weekend, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

“This outbreak is different than any other we have seen in the United States in the past decade,” said Dr. Matt Zahn, medical director of epidemiology at the Orange County Health Care Agency. “Previously, we have seen outbreaks that are food-borne, with a direct exposure to that food source. Ongoing person-to person spread is really not something we have seen in recent years.”

Also unique about this outbreak is that the homeless population and illicit drug users are the hardest hit.

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable disease, and the Governor’s state of emergency proclamation has given the CDPH the authority to directly purchase vaccines from manufacturers in order to quickly distribute them to the community.

“The key is to bring the vaccination directly to the communities at risk,” Zahn said. “This population is not easy to reach, so we make interventions to bring it to them. San Diego has done a marvelous job to have their staff go out to the homeless community, individual by individual, and offer the vaccine then and there.”

The outbreaks are affecting multiple counties in California, with the San Diego Jurisdiction bearing 490 infected cases. Since early spring, more than 80,000 vaccine doses have been distributed to the public and some municipalities have purchased their own supplies. San Diego County said it has administered more than 68,500 vaccines since the outbreak began.

Sanitation and hygiene are other important aspects of controlling the spread of hepatitis A, which is spread through fecal matter. Since the outbreak began in the spring, more than 100 hand washing stations have been have been installed in the area, most of which are in the city of San Diego. The city is also power-washing areas affected public areas with bleach solutions and making public bathrooms more available in areas most frequented by the homeless.

Below are answers to commonly asked questions about this disease.

Since this virus spreads through the feces, outbreaks are most commonly seen in the presence of unsanitary conditions or behaviors. Food workers can spread the virus if they do not properly wash their hands after using the bathroom and caregivers can transmit the virus after changing the diaper of an infected baby.

Hepatitis A can spread by simply touching objects, or through contaminated food or drinks. People may also be infected by eating uncooked food that has been contaminated, sexual contact with an infected person and travel to a country where Hepatitis A is common. The virus can be spread to others before any symptoms are apparent.

The hepatitis A virus causes inflammation of the liver. Symptoms of infection include fever, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Yellowing of the skin and eyes, also know has jaundice, is also a possible symptom of this virus.

Hepatitis A is an acute infection, with symptoms persisting for up to two months; rare cases may last longer. The virus does not typically lead to chronic infection or death, but it can prove fatal to those with compromised livers or immune systems.

The best way to prevent getting Hepatitis A is through vaccination, given in a two-dose series, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The vaccine is especially recommended for those at particularly increased risk, such as people with chronic liver disease, blood clotting disorders, men who have sex with men, those traveling to areas known to have the virus, such as parts of Africa and Asia, and those who could be in direct contact with people infected with hepatitis A, like health care workers.

The virus can live for months outside of the body on objects and surfaces, according to the CDC, and it can be difficult to kill.

“Hepatitis A is a hardy virus, and can certainly stay on surfaces and in the environment [for a long time],” Zahn said. Importantly, most waterless hand sanitizers and some household cleaners are not effective in destroying the virus. So when it comes to preventing spread, washing hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water is the best bet. Using bleach-based cleaning products is the most effective to clean surfaces in a way that eliminates the hepatitis A virus.

ABC News’ Christopher Donato and Bianca Seidman contributed to this report.

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