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Courts and Crime

Federal judge delays executions in Ohio until 2015
Problems with Ohio's drugs -- even at higher dosages -- spurred his decision

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M.L. Schultze
Judge Gregory Frost says Ohio needs more time for penalties.
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A federal judge in Columbus has extended a moratorium on executions in Ohio. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on why and until when.

LISTEN: Executions in Ohio on hold

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In May, District Judge Gregory Frost issued his first temporary stay on executions in Ohio, which was to expire this month.

Now he’s extended that until Jan. 15.

Both decisions are tied to problems here and in other states with administration of a new combination of drugs used in Ohio’s exeuctions. The first followed the execution of Dennis McGuire in January – who took 25 minutes to die and reportedly gasped during the procedure. The state reviewed the execution and said McGuire felt no pain. But it plans to up the dosage of , but officials said they'll increase the dosage of the sedative and painkiller it is now using on death row.

The same drugs – at the higher dosage – were used in an execution in Arizona last month that lasted nearly two hours.

In his order Friday further delaying Ohio executions, Frost said the state needs more time to implement a new execution protocols.

The inmate most immediately affected by the delay is Ronald Phillips of Akron, who was to die in a month for beating, raping and killing his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter,  Sheila Marie Evans.

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