Ohio Gov. Delays Executions Amid Controversy

Published October 6, 2009

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland has delayed executions in his state amid charges of incompetence against the department of corrections and fears that Ohio’s methods amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

Strickland’s decision to put on hold the executions of Lawrence Reynolds Jr. and Darryl Durr followed a ruling by a federal appeals court Monday halting their state-sanctioned deaths because of complications during an attempt three weeks ago to inject Reynolds’ lethal cocktail. Strickland has ordered a full review of lethal-injection procedures.

Reynolds, 43, was condemned to die for strangling his 67-year-old neighbor during a 1994 robbery. Reynolds, who was scheduled to die Thursday, denies involvement.

The governor stopped the execution of Romell Broom on Sept. 15, after state executioners struggled for two hours to find a usable vein. Broom's execution has also been delayed as his attorneys prepare for a Nov. 30 federal court hearing. An unprecedented second execution attempt on Broom violates a constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment, his attorneys argue.

At issue, says Judge Boyce Martin, is whether Ohio's lethal injection procedures are humane and whether the state's execution team is competent.

"Given the important constitutional and humanitarian issues at stake in all death penalty cases, these problems in the Ohio lethal injection protocol are certainly worthy of meaningful consideration," Martin wrote.

Written by BET.com Staff

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