Doyle Hamm: Death row inmate, who survived horrifying execution attempts, dies of natural causes

Alabama murderer, who survived botched execution and extreme torture at the hands of executors, has died of cancer at the age of 64

                            Doyle Hamm: Death row inmate, who survived horrifying execution attempts, dies of natural causes
Doyle Hamm, the man who survived botched execution in 2018 (Credit: Alabama Department of Corrections)

Doyle Hamm, a death row inmate who survived a 'botched execution' attempt in 2018, has died of natural causes. He has been fighting a terminal disease since 2014 but was scheduled to be executed despite his health issues. 

In 1987, 64-year-old Hamm was sentenced to death for the murder of Patrick Cunningham. He shot Patrick in the head while he was serving an overnight shift at the Anderson Motel in Cullman, Alabama. Hamm was in jail for more than 33 years. 


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In 2018, the state tried to execute Hamm by lethal injection. However, he managed to survive after it took doctors two-and-a-half hours to find a vein, his lawyer Bernard Harcourt said. At the time, he also sustained a few internal injuries. His lawyer also said that the state might have punctured his bladder and an artery, or most likely both, even though this was never proved. It is said that years of drug abuse and continuous cancer treatment made it hard to locate his veins.

In a press release, Doyle's lawyer said that the state of Alabama later decided not to set any more execution dates for Hamm. The decision came after months of legal battles revolving around whether Doyle's veins were suitable and able to handle the IVs used in inject the lethal drugs. His medical reports revealed that Hamm was jabbed 11 times with needles hitting his bones.

Images entered in court records show Doyle Lee Hamm's veins, and how the veins in his lower extremities are more accessible after his botched execution. (Court records)


In court, Harcourt stated that it became almost impossible to locate Hamm's veins after extreme drug consumption and treatment for lymphatic cancer. He also argued that Hamm was under excellent medical care and was under the continuous attention of Dr Connie Uzel, an oncologist. He said, "She was an extraordinary doctor who he was really grateful for."

Hamm's lawyer also said, "The result was an agonizing, torturous botched execution that left him on the gurney for two and a half hours as they picked and prodded at his legs and groin, trying to find a vein. It was unconscionable." He was given needless cruel treatment. 

Later, it was also revealed that the process was so painful for the inmate that he just wanted to 'get over with it'. As the doctors tried to locate his veins, he was stabbed 11 times in the legs and groin. Hamm's medical examiner said that he was too weak to stand after the process and was left bleeding from the groin and urinating blood for an hour. 

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