Ohio delays execution of child killer
COLUMBUS – Ohio said Thursday that it’s dropping the two-drug combination administered to an inmate who repeatedly gasped and snorted during a troubling 26-minute execution.
The state prisons agency also said it will again allow the use of an anesthetic that it used from 1999 through 2011.
The announcement that it’s adding thiopental sodium back to the execution policy immediately raised questions of where the state would obtain such a drug.
In 2011, the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction switched to pentobarbital when the manufacturer restricted thiopental sodium’s distribution, making it impossible to obtain for executions.
As part of Thursday’s announcement, the state said the Feb. 11 execution of a condemned child killer is being delayed as the agency secures supplies of the new drug.
The state said in addition to delaying the execution of Ronald Phillips, set to die for the 1993 rape and killing of his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter, other executions might also be delayed.
Kasich signed a bill into law last month that would shield the names of companies providing lethal drugs to Ohio. The goal of the bill is to make it easier to obtain compounded pentobarbital, the state’s first choice for executions but which it hasn’t been able to find.
Four death row inmates have sued over the new law, saying it restricts information that helps inform the public debate over capital punishment.