"Another Moratorium on State-Sponsored Killing," is Jesse Wegman's post at the New York Times Taking Note blog.
On Tuesday, a federal judge in Ohio ordered a moratorium on executions in the state until at least Aug. 15, so that authorities and the courts would have time to determine whether a new lethal-injection protocol comports with the law and Constitution.
State officials settled last month on the new protocol, which increases the amount of drugs to be administered to a condemned inmate, after the botched Jan. 16 execution of Dennis McGuire. Mr. McGuire took 25 minutes to die, and several witnesses said the process “was accompanied by movement and gasping, snorting and choking sounds.”
For now, the moratorium — Ohio’s second in recent years — puts on hold the scheduled executions of two men: Ronald Phillips and William Montgomery. Both were convicted of horrific murders, and neither is claiming innocence.
It isn’t clear what evidence will satisfy the order of federal District Judge Gregory L. Frost, but what is clear is that there’s no clean way to kill someone: either it’s quick and bloody, which has been deemed too “barbaric,” or it involves cooked skin, accidental decapitation, gasping, snorting, choking and the like.
Earlier coverage of the moratorium on executions in Ohio begins at the link.