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Doyle Lee Hamm, who survived “botched” execution, dies in prison

Doyle Lee Hamm was suffering from lymphoma, which contributed to his death.


An Alabama prisoner on death row who previously survived a “botched” execution in 2018 at Holman Correctional Facility has succumbed to a terminal illness.

Doyle Lee Hamm, previously convicted in the 1987 murder of Patrick Cunning in Cullman’s Anderson Motel, was suffering from lymphoma, which contributed to his death, according to

In 2018, the initial attempt by the state of Alabama to execute Hamm failed, with state technicians attempting for nearly three hours to locate a vein in which to administer the lethal injection.

After attempts to locate a vein in Hamm’s legs failed, an attempted injection in the right groin caused harm to Hamm’s venous line, producing bleeding and severe pain, according to Hamm’s attorney.

A previous medical examination conducted days earlier showed abnormal lymph nodes in the right groin, according to

Doyle Lee Hamm (Alabama Department of Corrections)

In a later medical examination, medical professionals concluded the state likely punctured Hamm’s bladder and artery and that Hamm likely received internal damage from the attempted injection.

In the lead-up to his scheduled execution date, the defense argued Hamm’s vein would not be able to accept an IV due to extensive intravenous drug use and treatment for cancer.

The Alabama Attorney General’s Office at the time said Hamm’s cancer was in remission, and the execution could proceed as scheduled.

A private settlement between Bernard Harcourt, Hamm’s pro bono lawyer for 31 years and a professor at Columbia Law School, and the state resolved all pending litigation in both federal and state court over the attempted execution.

Previously the same year, the state agreed not to reschedule Hamm’s execution for a later date.

At the time of his death, Hamm was 64.

John is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can contact him at [email protected] or via Twitter.

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