Idaho: Execution of Thomas Creech aborted – staff could not insert intravenous line

On Wednesday morning, 73-year-old Thomas Creech was due to be executed by lethal injection in the US state of Idaho. An hour after the scheduled time for the execution, the execution was halted because prison staff were unable to establish an intravenous line for the lethal injection after seven or eight attempts in both arms and legs.

According to eyewitnesses, Creech mumbled the words “I’m sorry” and “I love you” to his family, but appeared nervous and his eyes were fixed on his loved ones throughout the process before he was led back to his cell. As a result, the execution order will expire and the state will consider next steps, a spokesman said.

Such problems are not unique in the USA, as medical staff are not allowed to take part in executions, meaning that those who are supposed to place the IVs are not professionals. Idaho last carried out a death sentence 12 years ago.

The same problem ultimately led to the first execution with nitrogen being carried out in Alabama just over four weeks ago – Kenneth Smith had also been unable to have an intravenous line inserted during an earlier execution attempt.

Thomas Creech was sentenced to death for multiple murders in the 1970s before his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment at a time when the death penalty had been declared unconstitutional in the USA. in 1981, he then beat a fellow inmate to death, for which he received another death sentence.

In his decades on death row, Creech has developed into an exemplary inmate who regrets his actions, which is why the prison staff support his application for non-execution of the death penalty. Even the judge who sentenced him is now against execution. The clemency board voted 3 to 3 with one abstention – a pardon would have required a majority vote.