Ohio lethal injection protocols sufficiently prevent pain during executions: doctor

[JURIST] The anesthetic dosage delivered under Ohio's lethal injection [DPIC backgrounder] protocol is sufficient to prevent the condemned inmate from suffering during an execution, according to Tuesday testimony from an anesthesiologist during a court hearing on the constitutionality of Ohio's death penalty procedure [JURIST news archive]. The testimony by Dr. Mark Dershwitz [professional profile] contradicts that given Monday by another anesthesiologist [JURIST report], who said that the state's execution method does not comport with the Eighth Amendment [text] of the US Constitution or with Ohio's requirement that executions be carried out "in a professional, humane, sensitive and dignified manner." Under 2001's HB No. 362 [text], lethal injection is the only death penalty option available in Ohio. AP has more.

Last year, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected a lawsuit [JURIST report] challenging Ohio's lethal injection practice on procedural grounds. Ohio lethal injections came under fire after a difficult May 2006 execution where staff struggled to find a vein to administer the lethal injection cocktail, and the one they did use collapsed before injection. A modified procedure was introduced in June 2006 and employed [JURIST reports] the following month. Last September, the American Bar Association death penalty assessment team called for a temporary halt on Ohio executions [ABA materials; JURIST report] on due process grounds. Several states have placed a moratorium on lethal injections pending US Supreme Court review in Baze v. Rees (07-5439) [docket; merit briefs], including Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida [JURIST reports].



 

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