COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio death row inmate who survived a botched execution in 2009 has died of possible complications of COVID-19 while waiting on death row, the state prisons system said.
Ohio unsuccessfully tried to put Romell Broom to death by lethal injection on Sept. 15, 2009. The execution was called off after two hours when technicians could not find a suitable vein, and Broom cried in pain while receiving 18 needle sticks.
Broom returned to death row, where he fought unsuccessfully to avoid a second execution, but his most recent execution date, set for June, was postponed until March 2022 after Republican Gov. Mike DeWine issued a reprieve.
At the time of the 2009 procedure, Broom was only the second inmate in the U.S. to survive an execution.
The 64-year-old Broom is suspected to have died of COVID-19, but an official ruling will come when the coroner issues a death certificate.
Broom’s attorneys had filed arguments with the U.S. Supreme Court that he should be spared a second execution attempt.
Broom survived the 2009 execution “only to live with the ever-increasing fear and distress that the same process would be used on him at his next execution date,” attorneys Timothy Sweeney and Adele Shank said in a statement.
“Let his passing in this way, and not in the execution chamber, be the final word on whether a second attempt should ever have been considered,” they said.
Broom was sentenced to die for raping and killing 14-year-old Tryna Middleton after abducting her in Cleveland in 1984 as she walked home from a football game with two friends.