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January 12, 2010

"Lawyers Challenge Ohio on Executions"

The title of this post is the headline of this article in the New York Times, which provides a useful reminder that litigation over lethal injection has not gone away in Ohio even though the state has transitioned to a one-drug execution protocol.  Here are some details:

Proper training of prison officials could have prevented a botched execution in Ohio last year that led the state to overhaul its method of execution, lawyers for several death row inmates have argued in court filings.

The filings contend that Ohio prison officials have shown a consistent disregard for their own rules in carrying out executions, including failing to ensure that execution staff members attend required rehearsals and training.  And they contend that one of the people who helped conduct the botched execution on Sept. 15, involving an inmate named Romell Broom, was inadequately trained and had failed to attend all the required rehearsals....

“Were prison staff appropriately trained and if prison officials followed protocol, they might have avoided the sort of cruel and unconstitutional treatment that Mr. Broom faced,” said Adele Shank, one of Mr. Broom’s lawyers, adding that she intended to try to prevent the state from going forward with her client’s execution.  “The state got their chance with Mr. Broom,” Ms. Shank said. “They failed to execute him, and, in the process, they violated his constitutional right to avoid cruel and unusual punishment. So we are arguing it would be further cruelty for them to try again.”

State prison officials declined to comment because of the pending litigation.  But they have said they believe the state’s new protocols are effective and not painful.

Lawyers for other death row inmates said they hoped to stop all executions in Ohio until the state’s execution protocols were brought up to constitutional standards and there were better guarantees that those protocols would be followed.

In a 2008 ruling that upheld the three-drug cocktail Kentucky used in executions, the Supreme Court rejected the claim that it posed an unconstitutional risk of a condemned inmate’s suffering acute yet undetectable pain.  But Allen L. Bohnert, a death row lawyer in Ohio, said the decision by the Supreme Court that the three-drug cocktail was constitutional was based on the faulty assumption that states followed protocol, when in Ohio, he said, that was proving not to be true.

January 12, 2010 at 03:10 PM | Permalink


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These challenges are blatantly pretextual, and a waste of the court's time. These lawyers should be charged $10 a minute they take up. And from their personal assets.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 12, 2010 11:20:55 PM

Interesting development wonder what is the cause of that.

Posted by: Canon Digital Cameras | Jan 15, 2010 8:33:39 PM

I finished taking up law here in Harvard and right now I am studying for the board exams.

Posted by: Gift Registry | Jan 17, 2010 5:38:41 AM

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