Ohio Death Penalty News

Started by Jeff1857, June 01, 2007, 03:56:48 PM

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ELYRIA, Ohio - Beginning with its next execution, Ohio will use a revised lethal-injection protocol that allows executioners to use a second dose of sedative to ensure that a condemned inmate is sufficiently unconscious before fatal drugs are injected.

Ohio has said it previously made sure that inmates being executed were unconscious and, therefore, not in pain when fatal drugs were given, but death-penalty critics have argued that Ohio's process allows the possibility that execution causes pain. A federal lawsuit is challenging Ohio's lethal- injection system.

Greg Trout, lawyer for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, on yesterday confirmed a report in the (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram that the procedures had been adjusted as of last week.

The next execution is planned for June 3, when the state plans to execute 39-year-old Daniel Wilson of Elyria. Wilson was sentenced to death for the 1991 murder of Carol Lutz, whom he locked in the trunk of her car before puncturing the gas tank and setting the car on fire.

Mr. Trout said the protocol changes amount to amendments of procedures in place. The three drugs used remain unchanged.

The policy directive says the prison warden will call the condemned inmate's name, shake his shoulder, and pinch his upper arm.
"If there is no response, it is a pretty clear indicator he is unconscious," Mr. Trout said.

The policy requires a close inspection of intravenous connections to assure they are adequate to deliver proper doses.

The revised protocol also requires that the execution team prepare four grams of the sedative, thiopental sodium, instead of the two grams that had been required. Mr. Trout said two grams will be used, as before; the other two grams would be used only if needed.

The amounts of pancuronium bromide, which follows the sedative and causes paralysis, and potassium chloride, which is the final drug given and induces a heart attack, remain the same as under the state's previous protocol, which had been in effect since October, 2006.

The state has come under fire from death-penalty opponents and death-row inmates who claim that there is no way to guarantee that an inmate is unconscious and free of pain before the final two drugs are administered.



The policy directive says the prison warden will call the condemned inmate's name, shake his shoulder, and pinch his upper arm.
"If there is no response, it is a pretty clear indicator he is unconscious," Mr. Trout said. ::) ::)

Granny B

The policy directive says the prison warden will call the condemned inmate's name, shake his shoulder, and pinch his upper arm.
"If there is no response, it is a pretty clear indicator he is unconscious," Mr. Trout said. ::) ::)

shake his shoulder, and pinch his upper arm.

Now they will accuse the warden of torturing that poor mistreated  ::) prisoner before he is given the final dose. 

Oh woe is me.  I can see more hearings coming down on this pinching/torturing procedure.  Scummy murderer might feel pain from the pinch damnit.  Now we will have to have more hearings to revise the revised procedures!!  :-\ ;D ;D
" Closure? Closure is a misused word in the English language.  There is no such thing as closure for the family of a murder victim.  There will never be any closure for the death of our loved ones until we are dead ourselves.  The families have a lifetime sentence of anguish and sadness." 
Susan Levy


Ohio to set more time between executions

The Ohio Supreme Court said Thursday it will schedule future executions at least three weeks apart, an announcement made as the state prepares to put two men to death next month and as many as four more by year's end.

The court made the change Thursday in a decision denying Marvallous Keene's request to delay his July 21 execution for killing five people in a 1992 rampage in Dayton.

The court didn't explain its decision, but officials involved in executions have tried recently to avoid too many dates at once.

Last year, after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of lethal injection, the Ohio Attorney General's Office asked prosecutors to coordinate how they filed their requests for execution dates for fear of swamping the state Supreme Court.

Gov. Ted Strickland welcomed the decision, saying it was important to allow the state time to carry out its responsibilities and to ensure the process is handled respectfully, said spokeswoman Amanda Wurst.

Keene's state public defenders had asked the Supreme Court to delay the execution to give them more time to prepare for his June 17 clemency hearing.

The state Public Defender's Office does not have the resources to process two execution cases within a month, thanks to budget cuts, staff reductions and duties representing several other death row inmates, assistant public defender Rachel Troutman told the court.

State public defenders are also representing John Fautenberry, scheduled to die July 14 for the fatal shooting of a man in southwest Ohio during a 1991 multistate series of killings.

"This Court should also take notice of the emotional toll it will take on the Ohio Public Defender's staff to run two execution protocols in a single month," Troutman said, adding the schedule would also take a toll on prison staff, the Ohio Parole Board and the Attorney General's Office.

Montgomery County prosecutors noted that the court had already delayed Keene's clemency hearing by a week from June 10 to June 17.

Carley Ingram, an assistant prosecutor, also said the state public defender's office had represented Keene for the past 15 years and knows the facts of the case.

"His desire for additional time does not outweigh the pain re-setting the date will cause to the sisters, mothers, fathers, and others who loved those he killed," Ingram said in a court filing.

The rampage took place over the Christmas holidays when Keene and five accomplices began a robbing and killing binge.

After killing three people, Keene and one accomplice killed two of their other accomplices to prevent them from snitching about the crimes.

The Supreme Court has scheduled additional executions in August, September, November and December.

The court's brief ruling Thursday said: "In general, future execution dates will be scheduled in order that at least three weeks will lapse between scheduled executions."

I´m not sure if there´s a hell, but I believe in executed murderers.


COLUMBUS -- The state of Ohio is lining up death-row inmates for execution at a feverish pace not seen here since capital punishment was reinstated a decade ago.

Having already carried out three executions since June, the state has scheduled at least one lethal injection every month through the end of the year.

That could mean that by year's end, Ohio will have executed eight men in the final seven months of 2009. The previous high was seven in all of 2004.

They are coming too fast, argues Ohio Public Defender Tim Young, who worries that the burdens on state officials to carry out the tasks in rapid-fire succession could lead to careless mistakes.

"This should never become ordinary, it should never become run-of-the-mill, it should never be a normal happening like the turning of a calendar page," Young said.

"There is an incredible amount of work that goes into one of these cases, and to ask people to do it faster than it is normally done is unacceptable," he said. "Shortcuts are going to happen."

But there could have been more this year if not for a decision by Ohio Chief Justice Thomas Moyer, who heeded a request from the state prison system and public defender's office to not schedule executions within days of each other.

Moyer, who sets the dates, did just that in July, when the sentences of John Fautenberry and Marvallous Keene were carried out within a week of each other. Young complained.

While none of the upcoming executions are scheduled that close together, the pace isn't letting up. Ohio has executions planned for January and February, and at least two more inmates are awaiting their dreaded dates -- likely to come in March and April.

While county prosecutors request execution dates for death-row inmates, it is the Ohio attorney general's office that typically has to step in to see that the punishment is carried out, and the office often acts as an advocate for victims' families.

Attorney General Richard Cordray said he couldn't help but notice the stepped-up rate of executions and the burden that could pose on the system and families. But his office is prepared, he said.

"We can handle whatever they do with us," Cordray said.

So many condemned inmates are coming up at once because of a backlog of cases resulting from a pair of U.S. Supreme Court cases since 2007 that separately led to de facto moratoriums on lethal injections across the country.

Also, Ohio's death row -- with 168 men and one woman -- is chock full of inmates who were sentenced in the 1980s and early 1990s, before life without parole was a sentencing option. Many are now running out of appeal options.

In the fall of 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court heard a Kentucky case challenging whether that state's lethal injection process, similar to Ohio's, was constitutional. Every state with a death penalty uses lethal injection. So while the court deliberated, executions everywhere stopped.

The court in April 2008 upheld the Kentucky process, and Ohio later that year executed two men, including Richard Cooey from Summit County. Cooey had staved off execution for years, winning reprieves by claiming Ohio's three-drug concoction was tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment.

Several inmates had also won stays of execution by joining Cooey's case. But when the case was dismissed in 2008, those other inmates were added back to the list of those eligible for execution.

But then another high-court case in late 2008 dealing with death row inmates' access to DNA testing in an effort to prove innocence slowed the rate of executions in Ohio and elsewhere. In June, however, the justices voted, in a split ruling, against giving inmates a federal right to the testing, and that reopened Ohio's death chamber for business again.

"Once the U.S. Supreme Court came down with that ruling in June, then that was sort of the all clear," said Cordray. "And the Ohio Supreme Court had a bunch of cases to start scheduling."

About a dozen inmates were already close to getting an execution date, meaning they had exhausted all of their appeals, or nearly done so, when the moratorium started in 2007. Meanwhile, the appeals process for other Ohio inmates never stopped. So, when the state returned to scheduling executions, the pool of eligible inmates had grown.

There may be as many as 20 Ohio death row inmates now eligible for a date.

About the only person who can slow this pace is Gov. Ted Strickland. After the legal options expire, inmates beg for clemency, a request that can be granted only by the governor. The answer is usually no.

Strickland now faces an unusual death penalty dilemma. Jason Getsy is scheduled to die on Aug. 18. But the Ohio Parole Board, in a rare move, recommended the governor grant clemency, noting that Getsy's co-defendant was spared the death penalty. The family of Getsy's victim, meanwhile, is pleading for Strickland to carry out the sentence.

The governor has repeatedly said he is uncomfortable with controlling the fate of inmates but always adds that it is his duty to follow the law.

Of the seven men scheduled for lethal injection between now and February, two are from Cuyahoga County and one from Summit County.

"I know we have to acknowledge we have one of the larger death rows in the country," said Kevin Werner, executive director of Ohioans to Stop Executions. "But I think we have to be aware that this doesn't make executions OK or a good thing."



EMT board ducks death-penalty flap

The Ohio EMS board has no authority over the emergency medical technicians who administer lethal drugs in state executions.

That's the opinion board lawyer Heather R. Frient made public yesterday during the board's meeting.

Board members asked Frient to determine whether these technicians were under their jurisdiction. Under state law, intermediate EMTs are not authorized to work with these drugs.

But these technicians are an exception, Frient said.

"They do not appear to be acting as EMTs in the performance of their execution duties," she wrote in the opinion.

The issue was first brought up by Dr. Jonathan Groner, a pediatric surgeon at Nationwide Children's Hospital and former board member.

Groner said his concern was prompted by the testimony of 2 intermediate EMTs in a federal case filed by an Ohio Death Row inmate challenging lethal injection.

The case, filed in 2004, is pending.

Frient said these technicians:

• Don't "represent themselves" as EMTs on the execution team.

• Don't wear clothes that identify them as emergency-medical workers.

• Don't work under a physician's direction.

But in court documents, the EMTs testified that they have certificates issued by the EMS division, take continuing education classes and keep up with all state requirements.

Groner said he was disappointed with the opinion.

"When you obtain medical-profession skills -- a doctor, nurse or EMT -- those skills you use to help people should never be used to harm people," said Groner, who opposes the death penalty.

The procedure that state officials follow during executions states that the lethal drugs should be given by a "person qualified under Ohio law to administer medications."

In Ohio, physicians, nurses and paramedics working under a doctor's order are allowed to administer these drugs.

State corrections officials have said they would not ask physicians or nurses to be involved in executions because it conflicts with their oaths to preserve lives.

"The EMS board is put in the position where it does not think EMTs are as professional as other medical professions," Groner said.

The governor is satisfied with the execution process.

"He believes the system established and carried out by (the Department of Corrections) is appropriate," said spokeswoman Allison Kolodziej.

Mark Burgess, EMS board chairman, said he agreed with the opinion because "there are times when we don't have jurisdiction."

He said hospitals often hire paramedics, teach them new skills and call them surgical technicians, for example.

"And we don't have jurisdiction over them," he said. "They're not functioning as a paramedic."

The board didn't challenge or disagree with the opinion, though one member said the discussion might not be over.

"I think it may be something we've got to look at closer," said William Quinn, who represents the Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters on the board.

"It appears to open a Pandora's box."

(source: Columbus Dispatch)


Mark Burgess, EMS board chairman, said he agreed with the opinion because "there are times when we don't have jurisdiction."

I agree whole heartedly with this opinion..  I can tell you that here in NC, my Board Certification came from the State Medical Board; not the State EMS Board..  The NC State Medical Board is the same organization that initially theatened to sanction licensed physicians who participated in executions and pretty much started the whole DP mess we have here in NC...  But pursuant to the above opinion, the EMS board is mostly an operational governing body rather than an ethical or moral one.. 

Frankly, I wish the State of NC would allow EMT professionals to administer the drugs during the execution process.  They have the technical skills necessary to perform the relevant tasks, yet they are relatively immune to potential sanction.  Hell, if they ask me - I'll do it...  Further, EMT's don't make enough money to be concerned about any Board sanction that COULD potentially come... What do they care?....  And MY tenure as an EMT was on a volunteer basis in conjunction with our local EMS organization..  Who better to administer the lethal drugs than someone who has the technical abilities, yet acts as a volunteer?   


August 21, 2009, 06:36:38 PM Last Edit: August 21, 2009, 06:46:48 PM by JeffB
Another related article:

Ohio ex-executioner says EMT experience an asset

Known as Team Member 18, the now-former executioner testified in March in an ongoing federal case brought by Ohio death-row inmates. Separately, a state lawyer's legal opinion requested by the office that oversees EMTs said Wednesday that the state cannot stop emergency medical technicians from serving as members of Ohio's execution team.

"I have had to deal with death and dying on a daily basis as a paramedic," Team Member 18 testified.

He said the state never trained him in the use or makeup of the lethal drugs used in executions.

Instead, he relied on his EMT experience when trying to figure out if the first drug had put a death row inmate to sleep.

"Thirty years of experience in monitoring patients," he testified. "Watching for vital sign changes, watching for movement changes, just watching the person as I would if it was a person in my care."

He said he didn't keep a tally of executions and couldn't always remember individual cases.

"I don't keep that close a track on it," he said. "It's a job I do, and I just don't try to recall."

U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frost allowed the executioner and three other execution team members to answer questions anonymously and to sit behind a blackboard. Frost later ruled that Ohio's lethal injection system was flawed but not unconstitutional.

Jonathan Groner, an Ohio State University surgeon and former member of the board that regulates EMTs, maintains they are breaking the law by administering drugs beyond what their certification allows.

But Wednesday's legal opinion found the State Emergency Medical Services Board has no jurisdiction to investigate the issue because the technicians are not acting as EMTs when putting people to death. Instead, the EMTs are included on the state execution team because they possess skills such as inserting intravenous needles, not because they are working as EMTs under medical direction, the opinion said.

The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction has two certified EMTs on its execution team. Team Member 18, who retired last month, was replaced by another EMT.

Team Member 18 said he agreed to join the execution team in 1993 out of a belief that executions should be done as professionally and humanely as possible.

"I just felt, at that time, and always have, that it needed to be handled in a professional, humane manner, and that it should be someone with training," he testified.

The executioner oversaw 27 of 29 executions since the state began putting people to death again in 1999.

Team Member 17, a backup executioner who also inserted IVs in condemned inmates' arms, also testified he wasn't trained in using the drugs.

Mark Heath, an anesthesiologist at Columbia University Medical Center who has studied lethal injection cases across the nation, testified in the same case that the executioner shouldn't administer the drugs because he lacks training and understanding of how they work.

The prison system maintains execution team members are qualified, and the agency has no qualms about their training.

In May, North Carolina's state Supreme Court ruled that physicians cannot be punished for participating in executions. The court said the North Carolina Medical Board overstepped its power with a threat to discipline doctors who participate in executions.

On the Net: Capital Punishment in Ohio: http://www.drc.ohio.gov/Public/capital.htm

(source: Associated Press)



Ohio Gov. Delays 2 Executions To Review Injection
Lethal Injection Method Under Review

Posted: 10:22 am EDT October 5, 2009
Updated: 5:51 pm EDT October 5, 2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Gov. Ted Strickland on Monday delayed the state's next two executions to allow a full review of lethal injection procedures, the latest in a series of unprecedented capital punishment developments in Ohio.

Strickland ordered the reprieves for condemned inmates Lawrence Reynolds, scheduled to be executed Thursday, and Darryl Durr, scheduled to die next month, in the midst of a legal battle over Reynolds' execution.

Reynolds' execution was delayed until March 9, Durr's until April 20. Strickland said the Ohio corrections department needed more time to finish updating protocols for dealing with long delays in finding suitable veins on inmates.

The surprise announcement Monday came as the U.S. Supreme Court weighed whether to allow Reynolds' execution, for strangling his 67-year-old neighbor in 1994, to proceed. Earlier Monday, a panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had delayed the execution, citing problems with the planned Sept. 15 execution of Romell Broom.

Strickland stopped Broom's injection after executioners failed to find a vein after two hours. Until it was halted, the execution had taken the longest in Ohio to date, and Strickland's order to stop it was unprecedented nationally since the country resumed executions in the 1970s.

Ohio has put 32 people to death since 1999, when executions resumed there.

Strickland said prison staff has been researching backup or alternative procedures for lethal injection since Sept. 15 that would comply with Ohio law.

"Although they have made substantial progress in this regard, more research and evaluation of back-up or alternative procedures is necessary before one or more can be selected," Strickland said.

The backup procedure will also require training and other preparation, Strickland said.

Death penalty experts say it could be months before it's clear what effect Broom's case could have on executions elsewhere.

Texas executed two people immediately after Broom's execution was stopped. Virginia is preparing to put Washington-area sniper John Allen Muhammad to death next month.

Jon Sheldon, Muhammad's attorney, said he had no plans to raise an injection issue as part of an upcoming appeal. He said it's difficult to challenge the constitutionality of injection in Virginia because the state keeps many details of its process secret.

Virginia, unlike Ohio, does not permit witnesses to view the insertion of the IVs. It also shields its protocols, considering them related to security, said Larry Traylor, spokesman for the Virginia Department of Corrections.

Texas also does not permit anyone to witness the placement of the IVs.

Broom's execution is on hold while his attorneys prepare for a Nov. 30 federal court hearing. They argue that an unprecedented second execution attempt on Broom violates a constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

The impact of Broom's case nationally will probably become clearer once U.S. District Judge Gregory Frost holds that hearing, said Deborah Denno, a Fordham University law professor and lethal injection expert.

The reprieves Strickland issued Monday provide some insight into the governor's position on how Ohio executes people, since he could have gone even further, said Lori Shaw, a University of Dayton death penalty expert.

"What he hasn't done is put a moratorium on executions," she said. "He took this step, but he didn't take a greater leap."

Judge Boyce Martin said Broom's case raises questions about Ohio's lethal injection procedures, including the competence of the state's execution team.

"Given the important constitutional and humanitarian issues at stake in all death penalty cases, these problems in the Ohio lethal injection protocol are certainly worthy of meaningful consideration," Martin wrote.

He said Frost should consider the cases of Broom and Reynolds together in November.

Judge Jeffrey Sutton dissented, arguing that the state's policy addresses a scenario in which executioners can't find suitable veins after repeated attempts.

"Why assume an execution protocol is unconstitutional when one of the humane features of the protocol -- that the State will not continue trying to access a usable vein beyond a sensible time limit -- is being followed?" Sutton wrote.

The state argues that problems accessing Broom's veins don't mean that other inmates can't be executed properly.

Inmates in several states have experienced delays with the injection of lethal chemicals, but those executions always proceeded the same day.

Prosecutors say Reynolds strangled Loretta Foster, who lived three doors down in their neighborhood in Cuyahoga Falls near Akron, when he needed money to fuel his alcohol addiction.

"We are disappointed for Loretta Foster's family, who has waited a very long time to see Reynolds' sentence carried out, and ultimately, to see final justice for her murder," said Brad Gessner, criminal division chief at the Summit County prosecutor's office.

Durr, of Elyria in Lorain County, was scheduled to die Nov. 10 for raping and strangling a 16-year-old girl, Angel O'Nan, in 1988.


Ohio can't find doctors to offer execution advice
Finding medical professionals willing to advise Ohio on the best way to put condemned inmates to death is proving difficult because of ethical and professional rules, the state's top attorney said.

The rules which generally prohibit doctors, nurses and others from involvement in capital punishment are deterring those professionals from speaking publicly or privately about alternatives to the state's lethal injection process, Attorney General Richard Cordray said.

"A small number of promising leads have emerged, but identifying qualified medical personnel willing and able to provide advice to the State regarding lethal injection options continues to be challenging and time-consuming," Cordray said in the Friday filing in U.S. District Court.

Executions are on hold in Ohio while the state develops new injection policies following a Sept. 15 execution that was stopped because the inmate had no usable veins.

The state has reached out to judges, police and lawmakers for help trying to find medical professionals willing to talk to the state, according to the filing written on Cordray's behalf by Charles Wille, head of Cordray's death penalty unit.

Cordray also said 5 lawmakers he didn't identify have agreed to try to find medical staff to help.

The state has a 2-year, $33,200 contract with just one doctor, Mark Dershwitz of Massachusetts, a lethal injection expert who frequently testifies on behalf of states in lethal injection cases.

Dershwitz, an expert witness for Ohio at a March trial challenging Ohio's injection system, is the only doctor the state is currently talking to, said Julie Walburn, a prisons department spokeswoman.

Gov. Ted Strickland stopped the execution of Romell Broom after two hours when executioners failed to find a usable vein.

U.S. District Judge Gregory Frost delayed Broom's execution pending a hearing on Broom's request that the state shouldn't be allowed to try to put him to death again.

Strickland, a Democrat, then granted five-month reprieves to inmates scheduled to die this month and next, and Frost delayed a December execution while the state revises its injection policies.

Among the changes the state is considering is injecting lethal drugs into inmates' bone marrow or muscles as an alternative to or a backup for the traditional intravenous execution procedure. Broom complained in an affidavit following the execution attempt that execution staff painfully hit muscle and bone at times during up to 18 attempts to reach a vein.

Broom was convicted of kidnapping, raping and killing a 14-year old girl in 1984.

Also Friday, the European Union asked Strickland to spare Broom and temporarily halt all executions in Ohio.

On the Net: Capital punishment in Ohio: http://www.drc.ohio.gov/Public/capital.htm

Source: Associated Press, Oct. 26, 2009



"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself." Albert Einstein


I´m sure there are some texan doctors who will (and can) help Ohio to fix this problem.

At least we can offer JeffB and JT.  :-*

I´m not sure if there´s a hell, but I believe in executed murderers.


It just so happens that I know a respected Professor of Anaesthesiology at a leading medical school here in Britain who supports capital punishment and firmly believes lethal injection is a humane and relatively painless method of execution.  Seriously.

If the nice people from the Ohio attorney general's office give me $33,000, I'll be happy to put them in touch with him... 8)
JT's Ridiculous Quote of the Century:
"I'm disgusted with the State for even putting me in this position."
-- Reginald Blanton, Texas death row.  As of October 27, 2009, Reggie's position has been in a coffin.


Ohio Plans Executions as Rules Are Studied

Published: November 4, 2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday set two execution dates even as the state continues to rework its procedures for putting inmates to death by injection.

The execution dates are the first in four and a half months set by the court.

Executions have been temporarily suspended in Ohio while the state develops the new policies. The reworking effort follows a failed execution on Sept. 15 that was halted after two hours when executioners could not find a usable vein on an inmate.

The court set a May 13 execution date for Michael Beuke, 47, who was convicted of a 1983 murder. It set a June 10 execution date for Richard Nields, 59, who was convicted in a 1997 killing.




Posted by Jeff Gamso at 5:11 PM

Ohio Supreme Court

It's come to pass. The Ohio Supremes today scheduled two more executions. Michael Beuke is now scheduled to be killed on May 13. Richard Nields is scheduled for June 10.

Of course, right now, and as a continuing consequence of the failed execution of Romell Broom, Ohio doesn't actually have an execution protocol. But it has hearings scheduled in federal court in July to decide how to kill. So what happens in May and June? Or to Mahdi in January, Brown in February, Reynolds in March, or Durr in April?

Perhaps we'll torture them to death. Maybe not. The Supreme Court is, it would seem, just interested in keeping the machinery moving.

Oh, and in that same stack of orders that included the dates for killing Beuke and Nields, the court refused to reconsider its decision that Broom can't use the information that was originally and unconstitutionally hidden from his lawyers to try and prove that he shouldn't have been convicted and shouldn't be executed.

There's a whole lot of bad to go around.

heidi salazar

Ohio to switch to 1 drug for lethal injection

Ohio has become the first state to adopt a procedure for lethal injections that uses one drug, a method never before tried on U.S. inmates.

The state filed papers Friday in U.S. District Court saying it has decided to switch from a three-drug cocktail to a single injection of thiopental sodium into a vein. A muscle injection will be available as a backup.

The decision comes two months after an Ohio death row inmate walked away from an unsuccessful execution and subsequent executions were put on hold.

Several states have faced similar challenges, but Ohio is the 1st to drop the 3-drug approach in favor of one dose. The Death Penalty Information Center says it's never been attempted on humans.

The state's decision to move away from its 3-drug protocol comes two months after a death row inmate walked away from an unsuccessful execution and subsequent executions were put on hold.

The state has been looking for alternatives to the three-drug cocktail since a federal judge said it couldn't go forward with a second planned execution attempt of Romell Broom.

In the 1st attempt, Broom was unable to be executed Sept. 15 because officials couldn't find a suitable vein for the lethal injection.

The state said in the filing that its new execution method should lead to the dismissal of the primary constitutional challenge to its lethal injection methods.

Prison officials planned a briefing on the new injection procedure Friday afternoon.

It will use just 1 chemical, thiopental sodium, injected intraveously in a sufficient amount to cause death. The 2 other drugs currently used, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride, will be dropped.

As a back-up, in cases like Broom's where a suitable vein cannot be located, a combination of 2 chemicals will be injected into muscle. Those drugs will be midazolam and hydromorphone.

(source: Associated Press)

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