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September 18, 2009

"Inmate Will Testify About Failed Execution"

The title of this post is the headline of this article from the New York Times concerning one of the ways in which Ohio's botched execution attempt has created some interesting legal action in on-going lethal injection litigation.  Here are the details:

Two days after the execution of a convicted rapist-murderer was halted when technicians were unable to inject him with lethal drugs, a federal judge ordered Thursday that the inmate be deposed for a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Ohio’s lethal injection procedure.

The deposition for the inmate, Romell Broom, is set for Monday, a day before he is scheduled to be executed. His lawyers said they planned to file appeals in state and federal courts on Friday seeking to cancel or at least postpone his execution....

On Thursday, federal public defenders argued before the judge, Gregory L. Frost of Federal District Court in Columbus, Ohio, that evidence supporting their case against lethal injection would be irretrievably lost if they were not able to interview Mr. Broom before his death.

“He has relevant evidence that needs to be preserved,” said David C. Stebbins, an assistant federal public defender in Columbus. “Mr. Broom has, of course, the most relevant testimony of what exactly they did to him and the amount of pain he was put in.” The deposition is for a case in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

“The core of the complaint,” Mr. Stebbins said, “is that there are insufficient protections built into the Ohio procedures that guarantee it will be a painless execution, that the protocols are not sufficient to guard against mistakes and that they don’t cover all issues like in Mr. Broom’s case.”

As detailed in this Columbus Dispatch article, headlined "Second-try execution is 'cruel,' suit to say," Broom's lawyers will be filing their 1983 suit seeking to block his "re-execution."  It is my understanding that this suit will be considered a related case to the on-going Ohio lethal injection lawsuit, which means that US District Judge Gregory Frost would get this case and make an initial ruling — perhaps as early as today? — about whether a stay is needed to consider the merits of Broom's new Eighth Amendment arguments.

Related posts on botched Broom execution attempt:

September 18, 2009 at 09:14 AM | Permalink


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Judge Frost will stay this execution. Bank on that.

Hopefully, he's learned how to write better since his last screed.

Posted by: federalist | Sep 18, 2009 11:43:47 AM

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