After close to a three-year suspension, the Ohio Attorney General’s office informed the state’s court system on Monday of its intention to re-start executions.
The state paused its practice of lethal injection in early 2014 in relation to the mismanaged execution of convicted murderer, Dennis McGuire.
Convicted for the kidnapping and rape of 22-year-old Joy Stewart in 1989, McGuire clung to life in January 2014 for 26 minutes following his injection with a previously unused two-drug lethal combination.
Alarmed at McGuire’s extended death, and facing backlash from anti-death penalty advocates, the state suspended executions, but continued to research more-effective drug cocktails to apply for executions.
Outraged at what some described as unnecessary suffering, manufacturers of two drugs which have most often been used to induce death for executions, sodium thiopental and pentobarbital, are no longer available in the United States and foreign manufacturers refuse to sell the drugs for the purpose of executions.
Ohio Senior Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Madden told an Ohio judge the state has developed a three-drug prescription for executions consisting of midazolam, rocuronium bromide, and potassium chloride, all of which are readily available in the U.S. in order to resume executions.
Settling on the new combination of three drugs, Ohio is expected to execute Ronald Phillips, imprisoned for the 1993 rape and beating death of his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter in 1993.
Ohio resuming executions comes in concert with a Pew poll revealing fewer than 50 percent of Americans favor the death penalty, a four-decade low.
[The Independent] [Murderpedia] [Business Insider] [Photo courtesy Kiichiro Sato/AP via NPR]