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December 21, 2014

With new drug secrecy law, just when is Ohio really likely to get its machinery of death operational?

The question in the title of this post is prompted by this Columbus Dispatch account of the new Ohio law enacted last week to foster procurement of needed execution drugs by state authorities.  The article is headlined "New law will keep lethal-injection drug supplier secret," and here are the details prompting my question:

A new Ohio law signed yesterday by Gov. John Kasich will shield from public disclosure the supplier of drugs used in future lethal injections effective on March 20. However, two executions are scheduled before that date: Ronald Phillips of Summit County on Feb. 11, and Raymond Tibbetts of Hamilton County on March 12.

There was no immediate word from Kasich, Attorney General Mike DeWine or the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction about how the Phillips and Tibbetts executions will be handled, or if they will be postponed. There are four additional executions scheduled for later next year.

A spokeswoman for Ohio Public Defender Tim Young said new drugs can’t be purchased until House Bill 663 takes effect. “Our assumption is if they go forward with those executions, they will have to do it under existing law,” Amy Borror said.

Existing law does not permit buying drugs from undisclosed sources. The two drugs used in the last Ohio execution on Jan. 16, appeared to cause Dennis McGuire to gasp, choke and struggle against his restraints for about 20 minutes before he died.

The lethal-injection measure ... will allow prison officials to buy drugs from some of the 61 compounding pharmacies in the state. Typically smaller, independent businesses, compounders mix drugs for specific customer needs. They can ask the state not to identify them as the provider of lethal drugs for 20 years. The law also will keep confidential forever the identities of execution-team members and physicians involved in the process, even in an advisory capacity.

Another provision of the law requires an overall review to be done of the state’s lethal-injection process.

As reported in this prior post, a federal district judge back in August extended his injunction precluding executions in Ohio through January 15, 2015. I expect that state officials will seek to formulate a new execution plan in light of this new law, and that defense attorneys will seek to preclude executions from starting again until such a new plan is fully formulated and fully examined through litigation.

In light of all these realities, I am inclined now to tentatively predict that we likely will not have another execution in Ohio until well into 2015. At the same time, if and when Ohio gets its machinery of death operational in 2015, it seems quite possible that the state will try to move forward with a new execution every six weeks.

December 21, 2014 at 02:41 PM | Permalink


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The real point? Government does nothing well. Nothing against government workers. They excel upon leaving government. It is in the fractious political nature of government to stymie all effective action. There is also a straight, but stealthy corruption. The prosecution does not go after the opponents because it does better the slower things go, the less they are settled. This is called rent seeking.

Even stealthy rent seeking should be criminalized. Above $6 million, the rent seekers from both sides of a question have killed an economic person. They should be executed for the murder for hire of a constructive person. That execution should get fast tracked, and not subject to appeal except on factual innocence. Otherwise, the death penalty for rent seeking will explode the amount of rent seeking carried on by these lawyers.

They are super slick. The term lawyer dumbass refers to their beliefs in supernatural doctrines, not their shrewdness.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Dec 21, 2014 3:46:35 PM

what's really funny is these government fuckups think passing a law will keep the info secret. odds are within 24h of the purchase order being issued it will be leaked.

Posted by: rodsmith | Dec 21, 2014 10:00:56 PM

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