A lawyer for a death row inmate says that his client was left with a dozen puncture wounds by a "torturous and bloody" botched execution last week.

Murderer Doyle Lee Hamm was repeatedly jabbed in the legs, ankles and groin while prison staff searched for a vein for two and a half hours, even turning the inmate onto his stomach.

The 61-year-old, who has terminal cancer, already had his execution delayed but eventually it was called off at 11.27pm on Thursday (22 February).

Hamm has been on death row for 30 years for the 1987 murder of a motel clerk during a robbery, and the US Supreme Court had already delayed the execution after an appeal by his lawyer.

Attorney Bernard Harcourt had argued there was a risk of a failed execution because of Hamm's history of intravenous drug use had affected many of his veins.

"While he was strapped down arms and legs to the gurney, the IV personnel simultaneously worked on both legs at the same time, probing his flesh and inserting needles," Harcourt said in a blog post.

Harcourt added that prison staff: "almost certainly punctured Doyle's bladder, because he was urinating blood for the next day".

"It was a gory, botched execution. They gave up when they could not find a vein," Harcourt added. "Our case was that this would be tortuous and bloody and they wouldn't succeed."

He continued: "Doyle was lying there praying and hoping that they could succeed because of the pain."

The attempted execution will now be reviewed by a federal court and a district judge who has ordered a medical examination of Hamm following the inmate's claims.

Alabama Department of Corrections commissioner Jeff Dunn said: "I wouldn't necessarily characterise what we had tonight as a problem...the only indication I have is that in their medical judgement it was more of a time issue given the late hour."

On the same day in Florida Eric Scott Branch was successfully executed for the 1993 rape and murder of a college student.

The 47-year-old was said to have thrashed about on his stretcher and shouted "murderers!" three times before he died.