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Appeals Court Will Reconsider Use of Three-Drug Combination for Executions

picture of execution bed
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A three-judge panel put executions in Ohio on hold almost three weeks ago. Now the full Sixth Circuit of Appeals will decide whether Ohio can use the three-drug method of execution it has proposed.

The state announced last fall it was moving to a three drug combination after having trouble getting other drugs it wanted to use. Prisons director Gary Mohr has said the state needs to a decision to proceed with 32 scheduled executions over the next four years.

“It’s a state law. This is not something that I want to do, or look forward to doing. But it is a state law and it’s part of my responsibility.”

Earlier this month, three appellate judges agreed with lawyers for death row inmates in ruling that using the drug midazolam in the three drug mixture is unconstitutional. But the state says use of that drug was upheld by the US Supreme Court in 2015. Arguments are scheduled before the full appeals court in June.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.