After Unsuccessful Execution, Ohio to Change its Lethal Injection Protocol


Ohio is poised to become the first state in the country to change to a single-drug lethal injection. The new protocol comes in the wake of several botched executions, including the state’s unsuccessful attempt to execute Rommell Broom in September.

On September 15, 2009, an execution team in Ohio struggled for over two hours to find suitable veins in the arms and legs of Romell Broom but were unable to do so, despite Mr. Broom’s efforts to help them. The execution was postponed.

Citing the state’s “serious and troubling difficulties in executing at least three inmates, most recently Romell Broom,” the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on October 5 stayed the execution of Ohio death row inmate Lawrence Reynolds. The case was remanded to join Mr. Broom’s case for a hearing before a federal trial judge about Ohio’s lethal injection protocol.

A filing late last week indicates that Ohio now plans to use a single drug to put condemned inmates to death. The drug will be a massive dose of anesthetic and can be administered by an injection into a large muscle as a “back-up” method. Ohio is the first state to adopt a one-drug lethal injection protocol.