Make this page my home page
  1. Drag the home icon in this panel and drop it onto the "house icon" in the tool bar for the browser

  2. Select "Yes" from the popup window and you're done!

Home  >  Topics  >  Corrections

August 11, 2014
Print Comment RSS

Judge extends temporary halt to Ohio executions

Federal judge has extended a moratorium on executions in Ohio into next year as questions mount about the effectiveness of a new, two-drug combination

By Andrew Welsh-Huggins
Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A federal judge has extended a months-long moratorium on executions in Ohio into next year as questions mount about the effectiveness of a new, two-drug combination being used to carry out the death penalty.

The ruling by federal judge Gregory Frost will delay executions scheduled for September, October and November and highlights the ongoing problem faced by states in obtaining drugs to put inmates to death.

The last moratorium was scheduled to expire this week.

The one-page order by Frost issued Friday extends it through Jan. 15. It affects the state's latest death penalty policy change, which was announced in late April and increases the amount of the sedative and painkiller Ohio uses.

On Jan. 16, an Ohio inmate repeatedly gasped during the record 26 minutes it took him to die, and an Arizona inmate who took nearly two hours to die July 23.

Ohio's first choice for a drug is compounded pentobarbital, a specialty version of the drug it used previously with few problems. But it has been unable to obtain supplies of compounded pentobarbital and so switched to its backup method of the sedative midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone.

Missouri and Texas both have supplies of compounded pentobarbital, though the states won't reveal their sources, and have used them to carry out several executions successfully in recent months.

Allen Bohnert, the lead defense attorney challenging the use of the two-drug method, declined to comment. A message was left with the state prisons agency.

The next execution scheduled in Ohio was to have occurred Sept. 18, when Ronald Phillips was set to die for the 1993 rape and death of his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter in Akron.

Associated PressCopyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press






PoliceOne Offers

Sponsored by

P1 on Facebook

Connect with PoliceOne

Mobile Apps Facebook Twitter Google

Get the #1 Police eNewsletter

Police Newsletter Sign up for our FREE email roundup of the top news, tips columns, videos and more, sent 3 times weekly
See Sample