Execution of Longest-Serving Death Row Inmate in Idaho Abandoned as Lethal Injection is Unsuccessful

Boise, Idaho – The planned execution of Thomas Eugene Creech, one of Idaho’s longest-serving death row inmates, was abruptly called off after prison officials encountered difficulties administering a lethal injection on Wednesday.

Creech, 73, who has been convicted of five murders and suspected of several more, was scheduled to be executed at a maximum-security prison in Idaho. However, the execution had to be abandoned after officials struggled to place the catheter into a vein, leading to the expiration of his death warrant.

Witnesses present at the attempted execution reported that multiple failed attempts were made to insert an IV, with the medical team working to place the catheter in various sites including Creech’s arms, hands, ankles, and feet. At one point, obstruction of the view occurred when the medical cart was moved in front of the media window, and additional supplies were required during the process.

During the failed execution attempts, Creech was observed looking towards his family members and representatives in a separate room. Despite being restrained, he repeatedly extended his fingers towards them, sometimes appearing to mouth “I love you” to someone in the room. The warden was also seen whispering to Creech for several minutes, giving his arm a comforting squeeze after the decision to halt the execution.

Following the unsuccessful execution, Creech’s attorneys filed a motion in U.S. District Court seeking a stay of execution, citing the botched attempt and the Idaho Department of Corrections’ failure to carry out a humane procedure. The Department of Corrections stated that due to the inability to establish an IV line, the execution could not proceed, and Creech would be returned to his cell as the death warrant expired.

Prior to the scheduled execution, Creech had appeals dismissed by multiple courts, including the Supreme Court, denying him a last-minute reprieve. Supporters of Creech argued for a sentence conversion to life in prison, highlighting his alleged transformation and positive behavior while incarcerated, contrasting with prosecutors’ portrayal of him as lacking remorse and empathy.

Creech’s history of convictions for multiple murders, dating back to the 1970s in different states, contributed to a lengthy legal battle over his fate. Despite efforts for clemency and claims of personal growth, the planned execution marked the potential end of a tumultuous chapter in Creech’s criminal history.