Ohio has become the first state in the nation to adopt a single-injection method for executing condemned inmates, a process state officials believe will avoid violating the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment, the Los Angeles Times reports. The single large dose of anesthetic is similar to the method used by veterinarians to euthanize pets and livestock. Other states with capital punishment now use a three-drug formula that is believed to inflict pain if not properly administered.
Richard Dieter of the Death Penalty Information Center, said that Ohio’s new method was “a better alternative.” “My understanding is this one drug is not in itself painful — that it will put you to sleep and cause death all in one process,” said Dieter, who remains opposed to executions on moral grounds. “That said, it hasn’t been tried with human subjects, so it’s a bit of an experiment.” Ohio’s decision was prompted by an incident Sept. 15, when the execution team failed to carry out the death penalty against Romell Broom because they couldn’t locate a vein capable of receiving injections. Ohio will now use a 5-gram dose of sodium thiopental — 2 1/2 times the amount used in the three-injection method.