Ohio gears up for executions after long hiatus


After a three-and-a-half-year hiatus, Ohio is again free to tinker with the machinery of death.

Ohio has not executed anyone since January 2014, when Dennis McGuire was put to death by lethal injection in a botched execution. But two developments in the last month have cleared the way for the state to resume executions.

In June, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, meeting en banc, ruled 8-6 to overturn an injunction against the state’s lethal injection protocol.

This week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Merz dismissed additional challenges filed by four inmates, who have exhausted their appeals, who argued that the three drug protocol, which includes midazolam, potassium chloride, and a paralytic agent, violates the Eighth Amendment by “experimenting” on them. Merz referred to the Sixth Circuit’s ruling in his decision.

In that ruling, writing for the majority, Judge Raymond Kethledge found that, while “the plaintiffs have shown some risk that Ohio’s execution protocol may cause some degree of pain . . . some risk of pain ‘is inherent in any method of execution . . . . ‘” And, furthermore, the court ruled, the Constitution does not guarantee “a pain-free execution.”

Ohio is scheduled to execute Ronald Phillips on July 26. The state has three other executions scheduled for later this year, with a total of 27 planned through 2021.


You might also be interested in...

The tragic case of Kevin Johnson, set to be killed by Missouri this month

Missouri killed Kevin Johnson on Tuesday evening. He was sentenced to death for killing Kirkwood police officer Sgt. William McEntee...
Read More

Tennessee’s shameful and shocking treatment of Henry Hodges

A judge’s order late last month means a man on Tennessee’s death row, who slit his wrists before severing his...
Read More

Oklahoma high court denies both of Glossip’s petitions for a hearing on new evidence

In one week, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denied two petitions filed by Richard Glossip for an evidentiary hearing...
Read More