Romell Broom is the first person in modern U.S. history to face execution a second time. The Columbus Dispatch says Broom, 53, a convicted killer from Cleveland, now is scheduled to die Tuesday, a week after prisons personnel abandoned efforts to start lethal-injection IV lines after two hours of frustration and futility. Gov. Ted Strickland granted a one-week reprieve. The big question: What will be different the next time?
Ohio has no alternative to lethal injection in capital punishment. The electric chair, “Old Sparky,” was permanently unplugged in 2001. Radiology equipment could be used to locate a vein farther under the skin, or a line could be inserted into the vein in Broom’s neck. Those procedures are typically done at hospitals — usually by physicians. Ohio’s execution team is made up of emergency medical technicians. Broom’s attorneys almost certainly will file legal challenges to block round two. Richard Dieter of the Washington, D.C. based Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes the death penalty, is not aware of any lethal injection’s being started, then stopped. “It’s a dramatic example of problems with lethal injection in Ohio and elsewhere,” he said. “This is not a reliable process. Everybody would want this done in a more reliable and humane way. It’s going to require some soul-searching.”