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October 20, 2009

New stay means Ohio executions almost certain not to resume until at least 2010

This new New York Times article, which is headlined "Judge Delays Another Ohio Execution," highlights that my prediction that Ohio will not even close to executing anyone soon is looking pretty solid.  Here are the basics:

A federal judge has indefinitely delayed an execution scheduled for Dec. 8, the fourth execution to be postponed in Ohio since technicians failed for two hours last month to administer lethal drugs to a man convicted of murder and rape.

The execution of Kenneth Biros, 51, convicted of a 1991 murder and attempted rape, was stayed on Monday to allow the state attorney general and defense lawyers to gather more information about Ohio’s lethal injection protocol. The protocol has come under question since the failed execution of Romell Broom on Sept. 15. The judge, Gregory Frost, also indefinitely delayed the second effort to execute Mr. Broom....

Earlier this month, Gov. Ted Strickland postponed the executions of the two men scheduled to die before Mr. Biros, Lawrence R. Reynolds Jr. and Darryl Durr, until spring, to give corrections officials more time to develop backup procedures if another problem occurs in administering lethal drugs by the normal method of inserting intravenous lines into veins in a prisoner’s arms or legs. The state had expected to have new procedures in place in time to execute Mr. Biros on Dec. 8.

Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, said the repeated postponements and rationale behind them effectively equaled a moratorium on executions in Ohio. “There has been a recognition from the courts and the governor that the issues to be resolved are complex and are going to take time and that no executions should occur until those issues are resolved,” Mr. Dieter said.

A spokeswoman for the governor said a review of execution procedures continued. A spokeswoman for Richard Cordray, the attorney general, said the state was reviewing its legal options.

Some related posts on Ohio lethal injection issues:

October 20, 2009 at 09:45 AM | Permalink


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