[JURIST] Ohio prison officials on Tuesday conducted the first execution using a new single-drug lethal injection protocol. Death row inmate Kenneth Biros was executed after the US Supreme Court [official website] rejected [order, PDF] a last-minute stay application Tuesday morning. The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit had rejected [opinion, PDF] Biros's application for a stay of execution on Monday after overturning [JURIST report] a previous stay issued by the district court last month. Biros's attorneys had argued that the use of the new procedure constitutes human experimentation, but some commentators have said that the single-drug protocol is more humane than the previous three-drug method. Biros was convicted of a 1991 murder and attempted rape.
Ohio became the first state to adopt [JURIST report] the single-drug protocol last month. The state undertook a review of its lethal injection practices in September after the planed execution of inmate Romell Broom failed [JURIST reports] when a suitable vein for the drugs' administration could not be found. The new protocol consists of the intravenous injection of a single anesthetic, and provides for the intramuscular injection of two other drugs if an appropriate vein cannot be found.