"Flawed Arizona execution must force another look at Ohio's death cocktail," is the editorial in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Wood was put to death with a combination of midazolam, a sedative, and hydromorphone, a narcotic painkiller, the same drugs Ohio used when it executed Dennis McGuire in January. McGuire gasped and gulped in similar fashion while taking 26 minutes to die.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction stated after a review of McGuire's execution that he did not suffer "any pain and distress," but that the state would up the lethal dosage.
Well, the same dosage now contemplated by Ohio is what Arizona administered to Wood, according to Northeast Ohio Media Group reporter Jeremy Pelzer.
Gov. John Kasich should step in to insist on a more comprehensive investigation in Ohio.
This editorial board has long opposed the death penalty, but if Ohio is going to continue to execute prisoners, it must at a minimum certify that it can do so constitutionally, which means without cruel, painful, drawn-out deaths.
On Friday, the Columbus Dispatch reported, "After troubled execution in Arizona, Ohio to use same drugs, dosage." It's by Alan Johnson.
Despite problems that plagued an Arizona execution, Ohio officials plan to use the same drugs in the same quantity during Ronald Phillips’ execution scheduled for Sept. 18.
Capital punishment in Ohio has been on hold for two months because of an order by U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost in a lethal-injection case. Frost’s order expires on Aug. 15. Barring further legal action, the execution will proceed for Phillips, a Summit County child-killer who already has had two reprieves.
However, the troubled execution of Joseph Wood in Arizona on Wednesday turned up the heat on a death-penalty debate that began on Jan. 16 when Ohio executed Dennis McGuire using a then-untested chemical combination.
Jill Del Greco, spokeswoman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, said she could not predict what might happen after Frost’s order expires. But she added, “As of now, an execution is still scheduled for Sept. 18.”