The breaking AP report is, "Federal Judge Upholds Ohio Execution Policies," by Andrew Welsh-Huggins. It's via the New York Times. Here's an extended excerpt from the most updated version:
A federal judge on Friday upheld changes Ohio made to its execution policies, saying the state had tightened procedures that the judge previously criticized, such as not having enough executioners on a given day.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Gregory Frost rejected a request by condemned inmate Reginald Brooks to delay his Nov. 15 execution for killing his three sons as they slept in 1982.
Defense attorneys had argued that the changes Ohio made to its policies since the judge's scathing July decision shouldn't be trusted and in fact may have made things worse.
But Frost, while acknowledging he remains wary of the state's conduct, said the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation had convinced him that the changes are well-intentioned and for the better.
"Things have changed," Frost wrote in a 24-page ruling. "Defendants have tightened procedures and have implemented checklists and safeguards ... that, effectively employed, will serve to reinforce the protocol requirements."
By contrast, Frost scolded the state in July for creating what he called a "haphazard application" of its death penalty protocols.
Frost said the state didn't follow its own rules for executions on everything from staffing to checking an inmate's veins to be sure that IV delivering the lethal chemicals can be inserted on the day of execution.
In August, the state announced it would require post-execution reviews of all lethal injections and a physical evaluation of the condemned person's veins three weeks prior to execution as part of policy changes made in response to Frost's criticism.
Among other changes, the new policy specifies an "Order for Execution Medications" form that must be completed by those handling drugs, and it allows the warden who oversees executions to designate a doctor as an auxiliary member of the team for consultation during training or unanticipated circumstances.
The prisons system has bolstered its training, documentation, and quality review procedures to demonstrate Ohio's commitment to humane executions, spokesman Carlo LoParo said Friday in a statement.
"Federal judge denies request to halt Cleveland killer's execution," is the title of Alan Johnson's Columbus Dispatch report.
A federal judge has denied a Cleveland killer’s request that his Nov. 15 execution be stopped because of concerns about Ohio’s lethal injection process.
U.S. District Judge Gregory Frost said in denying a restraining-order request by Reginald Brooks, 66, that he was not ruling on the constitutionality of the state’s lethal injection process.
“Ohio has time and again struggled with competence and consistency, and the court remains wary,” Frost said in a decision released today.
However, he said Brooks did not make the case that the lethal-injection protocol — which has caused problems in past executions — is a reason to halt his execution.
Earlier coverage of Ohio lethal injection issues begins at the link.