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Ohio


Federal judge stays Ohio executions temporarily
Judge Gregory Frost want to know more about changes in drug procedures
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


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Karen Kasler
 
U.S. District Judge Gregory Frost wants to take a closer look at changes the state plans to make in its execution drugs.
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A federal judge has put Ohio’s next two scheduled executions on hold while he hears about the state’s proposed changes to the lethal injection process. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler has more.

 

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Judge Gregory Frost’s order for a 2 1/2month moratorium comes after the execution of Dennis McGuire in January. McGuire was the first person ever put to death with a combination of the sedative midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone, which were used because the state ran out of the drug it had been using.

Though the state’s prisons department says the execution was done humanely, witnesses said McGuire appeared to gasp and choke several times. The state has now proposed increasing the dosage of both drugs, and Frost wants time for arguments on that change.

Frost’s order halts executions until after Aug. 15, so it delays the lethal injections of Ronald Phillips of Akron, whose execution was scheduled for July 2, and William Montgomery of Toledo, who was set to die Aug. 6.

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