Romell Broom describes his dramatic experience with failed lethal injection
Romell Broom, 53, on September 15th crossed the corridor of death and then received 18 punctures over three hours, the execution was suspended by the governor, Ted Strickland.
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
Romell Broom against Ted Strickland
Scioto COUNTY. STATE OF OHIO
‘By this, I, Romell Broom, declare and attest that:
1. I am an intern at the death row in Ohio.
2. My execution was scheduled for Tuesday 15 September 2009. The execution was carried out in the Prison South (Southern Correctional Facility, SOCF) in Lucasville, Ohio.
3. Prison officers took me from the Ohio State Penitentiary to SOCF, 14 September 2009.
4. After my arrival, a nurse came to where I was housed, the cell J-1. The nurse arrived, she found two veins in my right arm and my left arm, tied my arm and took note of what she found.
5. After that, prison officials were offering fluids every time. I agreed. During that day I drank coffee, Kool-Aid and water. I took seven cups of coffee, five cups of water and three cups of Kool-Aid.
6. On 15 September 2009, I woke up, showered and talked to my brother on the phone. At one point, the chief enforcement officials told me that one of the court was reviewing my case and that the execution had been delayed in the meantime. Due to the length of the delay, I thought the court would accept my arguments for an appeal.
7. However, around 2, my lawyer informed me that the court had rejected my appeal and that there were no more ways of action. The state would go ahead with my execution.
8. When I was in the cell, the chief officer Phillip Kerns came in with several guards, and I read the execution order. Then came two nurses who told me to lie down. One of the nurses was a white man and the other a white woman.
9. There were three guards in the room. A guard was on my right, another on my left and another at my feet.
10. The nurses tried to simultaneously access the veins in my arms. The nurse tried three times to access the central veins in my left arm. The nurse tried three times to access the central veins in my right arm.
11. After those six attempts, the nurse told me to rest a little. I kept lying in bed for two and half minutes or so.
12. After the break, the nurse tried twice to access the veins of my left arm. He must have clicked a muscle because the pain made me cry. The nurse tried three times to access the veins of my right arm. The first time the nurse got access to a vein in my right arm. He tried to insert the IV, but lost it and started running blood through the arm. The nurse left the room. The prison officer asked if she was okay. She replied: “No,” and left.
13. The enforcement officers testified that it was difficult for everyone and suggested doing another pause. Then it was the nurse. The official who was on my right tapped me on the shoulder and told me to relax as we rested for a moment. At that point, I was very sore. Puncture wounds hurt me and I could not move my arms.
14. The nurse returned with a hot towel placed on her left arm. She put the towels on my arms and massaged my left arm. She said that towels would help them to access the veins.
15. After applying the towels, the nurse tried to access my veins, once in the middle of my left arm and three times more on the left. After the third attempt to access the veins, the nurse said the heroin had damaged my veins. That comment upset me because I have never used heroin and other drugs intravenously. I replied to the nurse that I never had used heroin.
16. The nurse kept saying that the vein was there but could not get it. I tried to work helping to tie my own arm. A prison officer walked over, patted my hand to indicate that he also saw the vein, the nurse tried to help me locate it.
17. The chief enforcement officials said they would do another break and returned to tell me to relax.
18. Then I broke down. I began to mourn because I ached and my arms were swollen. The nurses were clicking needles into areas that were already swollen and bruised. I asked to interrupt the process and asked to speak with my lawyer.
19. The chief enforcement officers asked me to sit for the blood circulate better. Then he entered the room the head nurse, an Asian woman.
20. The head nurse tried to access the veins in my right ankle. She asked that someone gave “a twenty” and someone handed her a needle. During this attempt, she jabbed the needle into the bone and was very painful. I screamed. While the head nurse tried to access a vein in my lower left leg, the nurse tried to access a vein in my right ankle. After those attempts failed, the head nurse took the needle and left the room.
21. The nurse made two attempts to access the veins in my right hand. It seemed they had given up and left arm because it was swollen and bruised. The pain level was at maximum. I had been stung at least 18 times in multiple areas, all intended to inject some drugs going to take my life.
22. The chief enforcement officers returned to tell me to relax. There was talk among officials about the fact that they could see the veins.
23. After a while, the director, Terry Collins, entered the room and told me they were going to suspend the execution. Collins said that he appreciated my cooperation and taking note of my attempts to help the team. He also expressed confidence in the team performance and professionalism. The director told me that Collins would call Governor Strickland to inform of the situation.
24. Officials asked me if I wanted a coffee and a cigarette. I lay in bed with the lights dimmed.
25. About half an hour later, my lawyer, Adele Shank, came and told me that the governor had issued the order to postpone a week. I told to the lawyer Shank of my pain and showed the areas with bruises.
26. After he left, prison officials transferred me to the hospital.
27. The next morning, my arms began to give more signs of bruising and swelling. Each site of the arm which had made an attempt showed visible bruising and swelling. Some of the bruising of the hands and ankle were gone and some of the swelling disappeared over the following afternoon.
28. Even today, my arms have large bruises visible, and still swollen. The multiple sites where the nurses tried to access my veins are aching.
29. Prison officials agreed to keep the SOCF during the week of postponement. During this time, I am constantly under observation of the implementation team and the guards.
30. Expecting to be executed is distressing. I think a lot of tension produced by the State of Ohio has the intent to cause physical pain the same next week.
31. I am compelled to constantly remember that next week I will have to suffer the same torture that I was inflicted by Ohio State on Tuesday, 15 September 2009, because there has been no change in Ohio’s execution protocol and has not been no change in my veins. The witness has nothing more to say.
Rommel Broom ‘
Sworn, affirmed and subscribed before me on 17 September 2009.
Marcia Dukes, public notary.