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An Ohio inmate likely died of complications from the new coronavirus (COVID-19).
Romell Broom died Monday at Franklin Medical Center, the Ohio Rehabilitation and Correction Department said Wednesday, NBC News reported.
A convicted murderer who survived his attempted execution in 2009 died of COVID-19 behind bars.
Romell Broom, 64, died from complications from a “probable” coronavirus case.https://t.co/wYbd1fH0Di
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) December 30, 2020
“To this day, up to his death certificate, his death is considered a probable death from COVID-19,” department spokeswoman Sara French told the 64-year-old inmate. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment on Wednesday.
Broom was sentenced to death for the murder and rape of a 14-year-old boy in 1984. However, when he was executed in 2009, his lethal injection failed and his execution was postponed to March 2022.
Adele Shank, Broom’s attorney, said her legal team “regrets leaving and regrets spending her last days on death row,” according to a statement by NBC News.
“Due to a painful and traumatic execution process, Broom survived that day, only to live with growing fear and concern that the same process would be used on his next execution date,” Shank added. .
“Let his death in this way and not in the execution chamber be the last word on whether to consider a second attempt,” the statement said. Shank did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
One in five inmates in the United States are infected with COVID-19, according to Project Marshall, a rate more than four times the rate in the general population. Although prisons have broken records for COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, experts say the number of infected inmates is not counted.
In Ohio, one in six prisoners had COVID-19, according to Project Marshall, and 124 prisoners in the state of Ohio have died from complications of the contagious respiratory virus, according to NBC News.
According to the New York Times, there have been more than 19.7 million cases of COVID-19 in the United States with at least 342,202 deaths related to the virus.