Ohio to Introduce New Lethal Injection Method

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Posted: 12/01/2009 08:15 AM EST

When convicted killer Kenneth Biros enters the death chamber of the Lucasville Correctional Facility in Ohio next week, he can expect a more humane and effective execution, say state prison authorities.

Ohio will be the first state to administer a new, deadlier single-chemical lethal injection method, lauded by prison officials as an alternative to the traditional three-cocktail method, which critics have deemed slow, painful, and cruel and unusual. That method, used since Ohio began using the death penalty in 1999, relied on three drugs: the first to sedate, then to stop the heart and lungs. The new technique delivers a larger dosage of a single drug.

But this has not stopped the critics. Some now say that the new single-dose method is merely experimental. Since it is so new, they say, it is impossible to determine the effect it will have among condemned inmates with different body types and characteristics.

Not so, says Julie Walburn of the Ohio Department of Corrections.

"Our experts that we talk to believe this is no more painful than establishing an IV site. The inter-muscular is similar to a flu shot injection," she told WHIOTV.

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