Ohio is likely to come up with a new process for executing condemned inmates no later than Oct. 4 as the supply of its current drug expires, says a court filing reported by the Associated Press. The new process will apply to the November execution of Ronald Phillips, who is sentenced to die for raping and killing his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter in Akron in 1993.
The change in the execution process is necessary because supplies of the sedative pentobarbital, the drug Ohio uses for executions, have been put off limits by its manufacturer, and the state's remaining supply expires next month. It's unlikely the state would switch to a method not involving drugs. The state eliminated the electric chair as an option a decade ago in part out of prison authorities' concerns about the potential stress on those carrying out the execution. One option floated by Ohio authorities is obtaining the drug from compounding pharmacies, which are licensed to create small batches of drugs for specific clients. Among other states struggling to find alternatives are Georgia, Missouri and Arkansas.