Supreme Court denies stay of execution for Ohio inmate challenging injection protocol

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website, JURIST news archive] on Monday refused [order, PDF] to stay the execution of Lawrence Reynolds, an Ohio inmate challenging the state's lethal injection procedure. Reynolds, who was convicted of strangling an elderly neighbor to death in 1994, asked the Supreme Court to postpone his execution in order to allow him time to assert his challenge. The court declined to delay the execution without comment. This is the state of Ohio's third attempt [AP report] at executing Reynolds. Ohio Governor Ted Strickland delayed [JURIST report] Reynolds's original execution date last fall, as the state was reviewing its execution method. Reynolds's execution was again delayed last week when prison guards found the inmate unconscious in his cell due to an overdose on pills. Reynolds is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday.

In December, Ohio prison officials conducted the first execution [JURIST report] using a new single-drug lethal injection protocol. Death row inmate Kenneth Biros was executed after the US Supreme Court rejected [order, PDF] a last-minute stay application. 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. Ohio became the first state to adopt [JURIST report] the single-drug protocol in November. 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.

11:45 AM ET - Reynolds was executed [AP report] at 10:27 AM.



 

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