(Adds details on Ohio executions)
Oct 3 The state of Ohio plans to resume the
execution of condemned inmates in January, ending a three-year
pause in carrying out death sentences, under a new
lethal-injection protocol designed to meet U.S. Supreme Court
approval, prison officials said on Monday.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC)
said it would proceed in January with the scheduled execution of
Ronald Phillips, convicted and sentenced to death for the 1993
rape and murder of a 3-year-old girl.
Phillips, 42, would be the first Ohio inmate put to death
since January 2014. Ohio, one of 31 U.S. states with capital
punishment, instituted a death penalty moratorium in 2015 due to
difficulty in obtaining the drugs needed to perform lethal
Phillips' attorney did not immediately respond to a request
for comment. Phillips is incarcerated at the Chillicothe
Correctional Institution in southern Ohio.
Ohio has 26 people on death row, according to the DRC, with
executions scheduled until October 2019.
The correction department said it has presented a federal
judge with a revised execution protocol that includes a
three-drug combination specifically upheld by the U.S. Supreme
Court last year as permissible.
The department said a similar drug combination - consisting
of midazolam, rocuronium bromide and potassium chloride - was
used by Ohio from 1999 to 2009.
In January 2014, Ohio became the first state to use a
combination of the sedative midazolam and painkiller
hydromorphone when it executed Dennis McGuire for the 1993 rape
and murder of a pregnant woman.
McGuire's execution, witnessed by his adult children and
reporters, took 25 minutes. Witnesses said he gasped and
convulsed for 15 minutes.
Last October, the state delayed all scheduled executions
until 2017 as it worked to secure a new supply of drugs.
Kevin Werner, executive director of Ohioans to Stop
Executions, an anti-death penalty group, said the decision to
resume executions was misguided and the state needed to work to
ensure the execution process was "fair and accurate."
"This is yet another experiment with at least one untried
drug. Ohio's track record is not one that exudes confidence,"
Werner said by email.
(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Writing and
additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by