Ohio killer Kenneth Biros today became the first person in the U.S. executed with an untested, one-drug protocol, the Columbus Dispatch reports. State officials had said they were confident, practically and legally, about using a single massive dose of the anesthetic thiopental sodium to execute Biros. The procedure replaced a three-drug cocktail abandoned by Ohio but still used in 35 other states.
Deborah Denno, a Fordham University law professor and expert on lethal-injection legalities said, “There should be an enormous amount of focus on this. This is one of the more important cases involving lethal injection in the last two or three years.” Denno predicted that the U.S. Supreme Court, if asked, would not be likely to OK the one-drug method because it is not “substantially similar” to the three-drug procedure the court approved in a Kentucky case last year