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February 8, 2011

Ohio now has executions scheduled one-per-month through October 2011

The problems other states have been facing with legal and practical challenges to lethal injections do not seem to be slowing down the Buckeye State.  As detailed in this local piece, which is headlined "Ohio sets execution dates for seven killers," the state now has one official execution date each and every month from February to October this year.

February 8, 2011 at 01:38 PM | Permalink

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Comments

That's great news. I just wonder why they can't schedule execution dates for all the Ohio death-row inmates whose appeals have been exhausted.

Posted by: alpino | Feb 8, 2011 2:34:49 PM

i've already subscribed to your feed

Posted by: vanessa alves | Feb 8, 2011 3:42:08 PM

@alpino
The head of the Ohio prison system and the Ohio Public defenders have requested that they stagger the executions about a month apart. The prisons apparently need time to prepare for the executions and the OPD needs time to prepare clemency petitions.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Feb 8, 2011 4:32:56 PM

I wonder why Florida can't do that. They apparently have 20 plus inmates who are eligible for a warrant.

Posted by: DaveP | Feb 8, 2011 4:45:36 PM

Thanks very much for answering my many questions, MikeinCT.

DaveP, as far as Florida goes, former Governor Crist seems to have been a nascent abolitionist. He did not sign warrants for dozens of inmates whose appeals had been exhausted (I believe he signed about one warrant a year). Hopefully, the new governor will do his duty and send these vicious murderers to their deaths.

Posted by: alpino | Feb 8, 2011 5:37:22 PM

@alpino
Florida is apparently out of Sodium Thiopental so this may save the killers from execution for years to come. This becomes even more maddening when you realize these men have done as many as 32 years on death row.

And happy to help.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Feb 8, 2011 5:42:07 PM

MikeinCt

where did you read that Florida was out of the drug?

Posted by: DaveP | Feb 8, 2011 5:50:42 PM

alpino

Crist wimped out on the DP. Apparently, in my opinion, he felt that signing death warrants would
create negative media hurting his chance for US Senate. He got swamped. You would think that being our former attorney general and acting aggressive on the DP he would have signed a lot of warrants. He actually said he was "grateful" to SCOTUS after Baze was handed down. He signed 5 warrants during his tenure and 14 inmates died of natural causes. Great record. Congrats to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Posted by: DaveP | Feb 8, 2011 5:55:53 PM

@DaveP
Florida and a dozen other states are asking the feds for help.

http://blog.al.com/wire/2011/02/13_states_including_alabama_as.html

Posted by: MikeinCT | Feb 8, 2011 5:56:13 PM

MikeinCt
thanks. I guess that I have to catch up on litigation.

Posted by: DaveP | Feb 8, 2011 5:57:31 PM

MikeinCt

Spokesperson for the FL DOC said there was "some" available as of a couple of weeks ago but made a remark about shelf life. Arizona set 2 dates today.

Posted by: DaveP | Feb 8, 2011 6:10:26 PM

It is documented fact that the last sodium thiopental produced domestically expires March 1, 2011. Thus, any states that conduct any executions after that date are: 1) using expired drugs (yes, it matters, since the anesthetic properties degrade quickly, making it increasingly likely that the inmate would be subjected to pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride while insufficiently anesthetized); 2)using a different drug (see, e.g., Oklahoma and Ohio starting to use pentobarbital); or 3) using sodium thiopental that has been manufactured overseas, under who-knows-what quality controls, sold out of what appears to be the equivalent of a Dollar Store combined with a driver's ed school, exported out of Europe illegally, and imported through U.S. customs without authorization and approval by FDA, who has decided to look the other way.

Posted by: ALB | Feb 8, 2011 9:59:15 PM

AZ and CA are two of the primary states that have circumvented federal drug laws to import foreign-produced sodium thiopental with what seems to be an unusually long shelf life (the shelf-life of U.S.-produced thiopental is/was approximately 18 months). That fact alone gives reason to misstrust the quality and efficacy of the imported drugs They also are sharing this imported drug between themselves, and similarly violating several provisions of the Federal Controlled Substances Act in the process. Yet because the courts have determined there is no private right of action to enforce the federal drug laws, the corrections departments in AZ and CA can flout the federal laws with impunity.

Posted by: ALB | Feb 8, 2011 10:05:21 PM

ALB --

If approved drugs were used, would you then support the executions?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 8, 2011 11:31:08 PM

Nebraska has bought enough sodium thiopental to carry out hundreds of executions from an Indian company. Why haven't other states bought the drug from this Indian company?

Posted by: alpino | Feb 9, 2011 2:47:07 AM

The Ohio Supreme court needs a trip to Texas. Scheduling no more than 1 a month rule is absurd. Texas would take care of all 7 in 2-3 weeks. Give me a break. Time now for other states to focus on allowing alternate drugs or bring back a rope and hangman. Not much to argue there. If it was good for sadaam its good for these killers and rapists.

Posted by: DeanO | Feb 9, 2011 11:06:45 AM

DeanO

The prison director asked the Ohio Supreme Court to set the dates a month apart for preparation and clemency issues.

alpino
it still puzzles me why Nebraska bought so much of the drug when they only have 12 inmates on death row.

Posted by: DaveP | Feb 9, 2011 3:20:54 PM

DeanO-
At least you don't even pretend to acknowledge the Constitution, so I give you credit for that. Of course you know that the statement "if it's good enough for Saddam its good enough for these killers and rapists" is pointless and irrelevant, since Saddam was not tried, convicted and sentenced under the U.S. Constitution, several of the first 10 Amendments to which were explicitly included to protect the accused, regardless of the magnitude of their alleged crimes. You do know that, right? Or are you advocating that we adopt Sharia law to replace the Constitution, in which case your statement is perfectly relevant.

Posted by: ALB | Feb 9, 2011 4:12:27 PM

Bill-
What I personally believe re: the death penalty isn't the issue. The issues are 1) whether states are running a risk of inflicting torture on those they are executing, which is a much higher chance using shoddy anesthetic in those states that still cling to their three-drug protocol, and 2) whether there is such a thing as the rule of law in this country, or if that's just a pesky nuisance when the government finds it inconvenient to abide by the laws which, if you or any other individual citizen were to break, would have harsh federal prison consequences? Either the federal drug laws mean something or they don't. We can certainly debate the wisdom of said laws, but that's not the question at present. The laws prohibit what the states are doing to obtain and possess controlled substances, but they can defy those laws with impunity because, I guess, the ends justifies the means in some people's eyes? Try telling that to the judge.

Posted by: ALB | Feb 9, 2011 4:20:16 PM

ALB --

"What I personally believe re: the death penalty isn't the issue."

I respectfully submit it's quite an important issue as respects this conversation, and here's why:

If, as a I strongly suspect, there is no set of circumstances that would persuade you to support the execution, then it's pointless to try to satisfy you on Issue One (the legality or propriety of the drug cocktail). This is because there will always be Issue Two, and then Issue Three, ad infinitum.

This is the whole problem with strict abolitionism. It is intentionally impervious to the facts -- either the facts of the murder or the facts of the conviction, procedures for determining punishment, or method of punishment.

If, as seems to be the case, there is NO set of circumstances that will satisfy you, then it's pointless to try to satisfy you.

If I'm wrong about that, I'm all ears as to why.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 10, 2011 3:26:20 AM

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