VIA| In a reversal of policy, Ohio is reinstating the death penalty, beginning in 2017. The announcement came on October 3, and is an about face based on new protocols for the administration of lethal injections.
Ohio had suspended the use of Lethal injections due to critical shortages of the drugs used in the procedure. Now, as the state has updated its execution protocols, it will begin executing inmates early next year.
The state notified US District Court Chief Judge Edmund A. Sargus that it had reworked its execution procedure to utilize a different combination of drugs similar to one used in the execution of prisoners in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma combination has met with approval from the US Supreme Court who ruled that it does not meet the Constitutional definition of cruel and unusual punishment.
The last execution in Ohio took place in 2014, when convicted rapist and killer Dennis McGuire was put to death by lethal injection. In that incident, state officials used a prototype two drug cocktail of drugs to execute him. The procedure lasted 20 minutes and was largely considered to be a failure. The execution was the basis for Ohio’s suspension of the practice.
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections spokesperson JoEllen Smith said “After filing the updated policy with Judge Sargus, DRC will proceed with the scheduled execution of Ronald Phillips in January 2017. Phillips was convicted and sentenced to death in Summit County for the 1993 brutal rape and murder of a 3-year-old girl.”
The new combination of three separate drugs, midazolam, rocuronium bromide and potassium chloride, are all individually approved by the FDA and are supplied directly from the manufacturers instead of a pharmacy. Ohio is not legally obliged to disclose the producers of the drugs, and has so far declined to do so. READ MORE