August 21, 2014

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Judges orders temporary halt to Ohio executions

COLUMBUS — Ohio executions have been put on hold for 2½ months after a federal judge allowed more time for arguments over the state’s new lethal injection procedures.

The order, in place until Aug. 15, delays executions scheduled for July and August while attorneys prepare filings about the state’s decision to boost the dosages of its lethal injection drugs.

The one-page order by Columbus federal judge Gregory Frost on Tuesday affects the state’s latest death penalty policy change, which was announced in late April. Ohio uses two drugs injected simultaneously in executions. The policy change considerably increases the amount of the sedative and raises the amount of the painkiller.

The procedure update followed the Jan. 16 execution of Dennis McGuire, who repeatedly gasped during the record 26 minutes it took him to die.

The state said in April it was making the changes “to allay any remaining concerns” after McGuire’s execution, though it stood by the way he was put to death.

The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said its review of McGuire’s execution determined he was asleep and unconscious a few minutes after the drugs were administered and his execution was conducted in a constitutional manner.

“He did not experience pain, distress or air hunger after the drugs were administered or when the bodily movements and sounds occurred,” the state said.

Frost’s order delays the July 2 execution of Ronald Phillips, sentenced to die for the rape and death of Sheila Marie Evans, his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter, in Akron in 1993. It’s the second delay for Phillips, whose execution last fall was postponed while he unsuccessfully requested to donate organs to family members.

The order also delays the Aug. 6 execution of William Montgomery, who shot 20-year-old Debra Ogle and her 19-year-old roommate Cynthia Tincher in 1986.

Messages were left for attorneys for Phillips and Montgomery. The attorney general’s office said it would follow the judge’s order, spokeswoman Lisa Hackley said. The federal public defender’s office, which handles lethal injection filings, declined to comment.

Following the end of the moratorium, the next execution is Oct. 15, when Raymond Tibbetts is scheduled to die for the 1997 fatal stabbing of Fred Hicks in Cincinnati. Tibbetts, 56, was also sentenced to life without parole for the stabbing death of Judith Crawford, his wife and Hicks’ live-in caretaker, the same day.

  • Bob

    1986 and 1993. WTF?????????????????????????????????????

    That is far to long to be living on death row.

    Why show them any compassion. Put a .12 gauge shotgun to their hear with a deer slug in, pull the trigger and call it a day.

    Over 20 years and almost 30 years on death row. There is something seriously wrong with this picture. Did their victims get any extra time to appeal before they died. No!! So why should someone sentenced to death get all these appeals. it’s retard and a waste of taxpayers money.

    • Jeff

      Was thinking same thing. Should be 30 days max. Or, they could just take them out to a field straight from the courthouse !!! 1 bullet = $1.00 or less.

  • Pablo Jones

    Vets have no problem putting animals to sleep without a problem. Why can’t the state use the same drug, just up the dosage.

  • Kevin Jenkins

    they should not be tortured.

    • Simon Jester

      The prohibition on “Cruel and Unusual” came from an age that had no problem with hanging, the guillotine, or firing squads. Do you really want to go there?

    • Larry Crnobrnja

      Define torture. I mean, besides putting up with your bleeding heart.

    • Starryeyes63

      you mean unlike their VICTIMS????????

      • golfingirl

        Kevin Jenkins is the former “Godfather.”

        Remember him?

        The same person who attempted to post comments under a name with a very similar spelling to mine a few weeks back.

        The same one whose comments have been deleted in their entirety by the CT.

  • John Davidson

    So we will have to pay to take care of these (people?) longer. Judge must be another bleeding hart liberal.

  • Frank Siegfried

    OK…so do away with the lethal injection and bring back firing squads. Six Ohio State Trooper marksmen, three blanks, three live rounds. Nobody knows who has the live rounds. Target over the heart. Ready….Aim….Fire. NEXT!!!

    • Bob

      I like the way you think, Frank.

    • Scout

      Quick and easy.