Ohio Could Become First State To Change Lethal-Injection Method


Ohio prison officials are considering a major overhaul of death-penalty procedures that might include changing such key elements as drugs and an execution team, reports the Columbus Dispatch. Injecting deadly drugs into muscle and bone, using a single, more powerful drug, or using an entirely different combination of drugs are options being reviewed.

Prison officials are consulting with Dr. Mark Dershwitz, a University of Massachusetts professor of anesthesiology who testified for the state last year as a paid expert witness in a lethal-injection lawsuit in federal court. He has consulted with several states on lethal-injection litigation. Ohio would become the first state to make major changes in a three-drug execution process that was essentially copied by 35 states from Oklahoma, where it was developed by an anesthesiologist in 1977. Gov. Ted Strickland and prisons director Terry Collins are considering changes after the botched Sept. 15 execution of Romell Broom, the first time in modern U.S. history that an execution had to be abandoned after it was started.

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