Can Ohio be trusted to conduct executions? The Columbus Dispatch reports that U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Frost said “yes” yesterday with some trepidation, clearing the way for the resumption of lethal injections after a four-month hiatus because of legal entanglements. Frost denied a request by Mark Wiles to halt his April 18 execution for killing a boy, 15, in 1985.
The state has about one inmate a month scheduled for execution until early 2014. Unless there is further judicial intervention, Ohio presumably is back in the capital-punishment business. Frost had blocked other executions in recent months because of a litany of legal complaints that Ohio prison officials had not followed their lethal-injection protocol. Frost decreed that Ohio must “avoid the embarrassments” of the past in the Wiles case, and move forward. “This court is therefore willing to trust Ohio, just enough to permit the scheduled execution,” he wrote.