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May 10, 2010

Another scheduled Ohio execution, another novel complaint about execution protocol by condemned

As detailed in this local story, which is headlined "Death Row inmate files new injection argument," Ohio's now-standard monthy execution plans has been met with another Ohio inmate's now-standard novel execution challenge.  Here are the details:

An Ohio inmate facing execution this week says his tolerance to a lethal injection drug could lead to a painful execution that would deprive him of his constitutional rights.  Michael Beuke, 48, scheduled to die Thursday for fatally shooting a man while hitchhiking in 1983, made his claim in a court filing Friday.

Beuke asked U.S. District Judge Gregory Frost to stop the execution because it could deny him the quick and painless death promised by Ohio law and could constitute cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Constitution.  Beuke said a barbiturate he takes for a seizure disorder could limit the effectiveness of midazolam, the first drug called for in Ohio's backup execution method.

It's a twist on a similar argument made last month by another Ohio Death Row inmate who said he had an allergy to anesthesia.  The federal courts rejected Darryl Durr's claim, and he was executed April 20.

I will be quite surprised if Beuke's (twisted?) argument has any more success than Durr's, and thus I fully expect Ohio this week to complete its sixth (one-drug lethal injection) execution in as many months. 

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May 10, 2010 at 11:31 AM | Permalink


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Could the lawyer please consult a first year medical student? Rapid tolerance does take place to short acting barbiturates. However, no tolerance takes place in the brain breathing center. That is why people find a dose does not work, increase it, repeatedly, and find themselves waking up dead as an effective dose has become one large enough to shut down the breathing center of the brain. This has been known for about 100 years.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 10, 2010 9:01:12 PM

The federal courts should have no power to hear a claim related to the quick and painless death provision of Ohio law. The courts of Ohio are the only proper venue for determining the meaning, if any, of that statute.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | May 11, 2010 12:21:20 PM

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