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Government & Politics

Gov. Kasich Delays Executions of an Akron Man and Seven Others in Response to Federal Court Battle

photo of death row inmates
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATION AND CORRECTION
Ronald Phillips (left), Raymond Tibbetts (middle) and Gary Otte (right) are all scheduled to be executed this year.

The governor has delayed eight upcoming executions because of a federal court fight over the constitutionality of the state’s lethal injection process.

The state has appealed a federal judge’s ruling that Ohio’s proposed three-drug lethal injection mixture is unconstitutional. That method includes the drug midazolam, which has been upheld in some courts but is controversial.

Gov. John Kasich ordered the execution delays because he doesn’t expect a final ruling before the first scheduled execution, that of Akron killer Ronald Phillips, this Wednesday.

Ohio has not executed anyone since early 2014, when Dennis McGuire of Preble County gasped and choked with a two-drug mix that had never been used before. The state tried to change its lethal injection method, but first had difficulty getting the replacement drugs and now needs a court to approve the procedure.