The Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports, "Burge's death penalty hearing wraps up." It's written by Brad Dicken.
Earlier this year, ACLU attorney Jeff Gamso said he hadn’t gone looking for “nice ways to kill people,” but he may have found one that’s humane enough to consider.
Gamso, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio’s legal director, conceded Tuesday that evidence gathered during hearings a county judge is holding to review lethal injection might offer a solution.
“There is no nice way to kill people, but I think the evidence in this case is that a single megadose of a barbiturate, properly administered, would provide a painless death,” Gamso said after the most recent hearing Tuesday.
Gamso is one of several attorneys representing accused killers Ruben Rivera and Ronald McCloud, who are challenging the legality and constitutionality of Ohio’s lethal injection process in an unprecedented hearing before county Common Pleas Judge James Burge. Both men could face execution if convicted of separate murders in Lorain.
Burge said he hasn’t decided how he will rule, but he ordered Gamso to provide a written argument detailing how the current three-drug cocktail used by Ohio and other states in their lethal injection processes violates the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment and the quick and painless requirement of Ohio law.
He also wants Gamso to explain what the state could do to change the process to make it more humane.
Two anesthesiologists testified last month that the lethal injection process — a sedative, a drug to paralyze the condemned inmate and a drug to stop the heart — currently used by the state is a humane death if the drugs are properly administered.
Gamso said there’s no way to guarantee that.
“There is at least the possibility that lethal injection certainly will not be painless,” he said, later pointing out that in at least two executions conducted in Ohio — those of Joe Clark and Christopher Newton — there were significant problems.
"Prosecutor, Burge share heated words during lethal injection case," is the article in the Lorain Morning Journal.
Assistant Lorain County Prosecutor Tony Cillo clashed with Common Pleas Judge James Burge yesterday in a heated exchange during arguments about whether Ohio's lethal injection protocol is a quick and painless death.
Capital murder defendants Ronald McCloud, 28, and Ruben Rivera, 38, are challenging Ohio's method of lethal injection in Burge's court arguing that their rights would be violated if they are executed because the protocol does not guarantee a quick and painless death.
AP has, "Ohio lethal injection hearing heats up," via the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge, who intends to make a ruling before July, held a hearing Tuesday to discuss testimony from two anesthesiologists who took the stand last month.
When Burge began questioning language in Ohio's lethal injection statute, assistant county prosecutor Tony Cillo bristled, saying the judge was helping the American Civil Liberties Union make its case.
"The court is now making arguments for the plaintiff and that is not the court's role," said Cillo, complaining that he could not prepare for arguments that the ACLU had not raised.
"You're supposed to know all of them," Burge said.
The disagreement started over a highly technical question. Burge raised the issue of whether the words "quickly and painlessly cause death" in the statue should be applied not only to the dosage of the lethal injection drugs, but to how they are administered.