Page last updated at 20:25 GMT, Friday, 18 September 2009 21:25 UK

New US vein execution bid halted

Convicted rapist and murderer Romell Broom
Execution staff spent two hours trying to find a suitable vein in Romell Broom

A second attempt to execute a US man by lethal injection has been temporarily halted by a federal court.

Murderer and rapist Romell Broom had his execution rescheduled to Tuesday after Ohio state officials failed to find a vein in the first attempt.

And on Friday, District Judge Gregory Frost issued a 10-day restraining order after a plea by Broom's lawyers.

They said the pain he suffered in the first attempt violated a constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Execution staff hit muscle and bone while trying to access a suitable vein last Tuesday and Ohio Governor Ted Strickland issued a week-long reprieve after about two hours of unsuccessful attempts.

Broom's lawyer, Tim Sweeney, said his client had "sustained both physical and mental injuries" during the attempts. Witnesses said he had been distressed and appeared to cry.

Broom has been sentenced to die for the rape and murder of 14-year-old Tryna Middleton in 1984.

Ohio has executed 32 inmates since the state resumed executions in 1999.

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