Ohio Changes Lethal Injection Protocol; ACLU Complains


After botching an execution and leaving a condemned killer begging to die in front of stunned witnesses, the Ohio state corrections department said it would change its lethal-injection procedures, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Still, a civil rights group said the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is doing too little to ensure that inmates sentenced to die are put to death humanely. The execution team will be reminded that there is no rush for them to carry out their job.

State corrections director Terry Collins outlined five changes, including erasing the “artificial self-imposed time barrier” that led the team to believe it had to act quickly. The prison system will also switch from a “high pressure” saline injection to a “low pressure” drip solution that will help ensure a vein remains open. Officials will require shunts in each arm before starting the combination of lethal drugs and assign at least one execution team member to keep constant watch over the needle and veins. The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio says the new changes amount to almost nothing. Said the ACLU’s Jeffrey Gamso: “they just say, ‘OK, we were sloppy, and we won’t be sloppy next time.’ That’s not how you do a self-examination.”

Link: http://www.cleveland.com/crime/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/news/1151569913122510.xml&coll=2

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