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December 1, 2009

Ohio gives tour of "death house" as new lethal injection protocol is put in place

As detailed in this local article, which is headlined "State gives tour of 'Death House'," official in Ohio are rolling out the red carpet for folks interested in seeing where and how it will be pioneering a new approach to executions:

State corrections officials gave a behind-the-walls tour of Ohio's Death House on Monday for the third time since executions resumed in 1999. Among those on the tour: Reporters and camera crews from 14 news outlets including West Virginia and the Agence France-Presse

The tour at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility coincided with the state's new plan to use one lethal drug — five grams of thiopental sodium, a powerful anesthetic used during surgery — instead of three different drugs, the most common execution process used nationwide.  Ohio also ditched its requirement to have two intravenous lines hooked to an inmate at once.  One working IV line will now suffice.

Also, Ohio has "a backup plan" in case intravenous drugs don't work — jabbing the thigh or hip muscle of the condemned killer with a shot of midazolam and hydromorphone.  If the inmate is still breathing after five minutes, one authorized executioner can jab him again.  A third time if five more minutes passes and he's still alive.

Ohio becomes the first place internationally to execute someone with a one-drug process of thiopental sodium next week when Kenneth Biros, 51, of Trumbull County is set to die by lethal injection.

Julie Walburn, spokeswoman for the state Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said Ohio has one execution scheduled each month through June.  The state has executed 32 inmates since capital punishment resumed in 1999.  Walburn said that if a convicted killer is found to not have veins viable for lethal injection, the state will just go to its backup plan and inject him to death with the shot.  The state fully expects litigation over the new process, Walburn said.

As this article hints and as I have noted in this prior post, it is unclear whether the litigation over Ohio's new protocol will get in the way of Ohio's apparent eagerness to go forward with Kenneth Biros's execution next week.

Some related posts on Ohio lethal injection issues:

December 1, 2009 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

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Comments

"As this article hints and as I have noted in this prior post, it is unclear whether the litigation over Ohio's new protocol will get in the way of Ohio's apparent eagerness to go forward with Kenneth Biros's execution next week."

"eagerness" is an interesting choice of words. There's a criminal judgment in effect, and the victim's family has been jerked around for years. Biros should have been executed years ago. It's time.

Posted by: federalist | Dec 1, 2009 11:06:20 AM

Here's a question--wasn't Biros a party to the Cooey litigation, wherein Cooey argued that a one-drug protocol was ok? If so, isn't he estopped to challenge its constitutionality now?

Posted by: federalist | Dec 1, 2009 11:20:57 AM

Sick.

Posted by: Fido | Dec 1, 2009 4:13:54 PM

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