US Supreme Court won’t stop Ohio execution of sick inmate

FILE - This undated photo provided by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction shows death row inmate Alva Campbell. (Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction via AP)

LUCASVILLE, OH (WCMH) — State prison officials say Alva Campbell arrived at the death house in Lucasville Tuesday, about 24 hours ahead of his scheduled execution.

Campbell was sentenced to death in 1997 for the murder of Columbus teenager Charles Dials.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued an order Tuesday afternoon rejecting a request to postpone the execution. Campbell’s attorney’s tried to make the case that he is too sick to be put to death.

Campbell has a multitude of health problems and requires daily breathing treatments. The state says it will provide Campbell with a wedge-shaped pillow to lie on to help him breathe as he is put to death.

In 1972 Campbell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the murder of a Cleveland bartender. After his release, he committed a string of armed robberies in the Columbus area.

In 1997, after feigning paralysis, Campbell overpowered a sheriff’s deputy, took her gun and escaped by carjacking 18-year-old Charles Dials. Campbell forced Dials into the foothold of the passenger side of his pickup truck and then shot and killed him.

Franklin County prosecutor Ron O’Brien has said that Campbell is “the poster child for the death penalty.”

But Abe Bonowitz of Ohioans to Stop Executions says Campbell is a good example of why murderers should be sentenced to “death in prison” but not execution. “What does it say about us when we’re going to take this guy and strap him down and kill him?” Bonowitz said.

Bonowitz said the waiting is the real punishment and victim’s families share in that as well. “Of the 27 people lined up to be executed, five have been there longer than 30 years and 12 longer than 20 years,” Bonowitz said. “And when we tell victims families, ‘wait until we kill them and then you’ll feel better’, what we’re really doing is forcing them to put their healing process on hold.”

A prison spokesperson said Dials’ brother, sister and uncle will be among those in the witness area to watch Campbell be put to death.

Prions officials said Campbell’s “special meal” request for the eve of his execution was pork chops, greens, sweet potato pie, mashed potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese and milk.

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