Ohio Executions Temporarily Halted By Judge

    May 28, 2014

There will be no executions carried out in the state of Ohio until after August 15th.

This two and a half month window of time was granted by a federal judge so that arguments over the state’s new lethal injection methods could continue.

The legal fight is being waged over the decision of Ohio to increase the dosage of the lethal injection drugs among other adjustments.

The state uses two different drugs, injected simultaneously, during lethal injection procedures.

The changes follow the highly controversial execution of Dennis McGuire, who took twenty six minutes to die during his January 16th execution.

Ohio has responded by upping the amount of sedatives and painkillers given to prisoners being executed.

Though the state stands by its method of executing McGuire (he gasped multiple times during his final minutes), it announced in April that the changes were meant “to allay any remaining concerns” about inhuman execution methods.

The continued existence of a death penalty in the United States is coming under increasing scrutiny from abroad and domestically. In truth, it has long been a controversial and divisive subject:

The state of Washington moved to halt the method indefinitely and others are considering it.

Much of the controversy stems from the beliefs that it’s wrong for the state to take a life and that the methods used are cruel and painful.

According to the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, despite his unusual execution, McGuire “did not experience pain, distress or air hunger after the drugs were administered.” He was reportedly unconscious minutes after being given the fatal injection.

From his court in Columbus, Ohio, federal judge Gregory Frost on Tuesday allowed for executions to be temporarily halted as filings are being made.

Executions scheduled for July and early August will be pushed back to later dates.

Ronald Phillips will see his execution date pushed back for the second time.

Phillips was set to die July 2nd after being sentenced for the 1993 murder and rape of Sheila Marie Evans, his then girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter.

Image via Wikimedia Commons