MICHELE NORRIS, host:
Two months after a botched execution attempt, Ohio has decided to change the way it will put condemned inmates to death.
From Ohio Public Radio, Karen Kasler reports.
KAREN KASLER: Ohio considered changing its lethal injection procedure after a man who was supposed to die in September survived the execution attempt. Romell Broom had been stuck with a needle more than 18 times over two hours, as the execution team tried to find a usable vein. Ohio delayed its next two executions.
And now, prisons director Terry Collins says Ohio will become the first state to use just one powerful sedative instead of a multidrug cocktail and to allow the drug to be injected into a large muscle if a good vein can't be found.
Mr. TERRY COLLINS (Director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction): Theres no other state that uses a one-drug protocol, nor is there another state that uses an intramuscular protocol. Im confident that the use of the one-drug protocol will legally do the obligation that were required to in the state.
KASLER: State medical advisers say the single drug should cause death in about 15 minutes, as the three-drug cocktail does now. And if its shot into a muscle, it could take up to twice as long to work, but the inmate shouldnt feel pain. This one-drug approach is often used by veterinarians when euthanizing pets, but has never been tried on humans.
Jeff Gamso with the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio says he suspects a lack of confidence in the execution team, and he doesnt think this solves that problem.
Mr. JEFFREY GAMSO (Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio): Were talking about doing something thats brand new, that nobodys done, that has never been vetted and doing it by people who have, frankly, never demonstrated a particular skill at doing even the more ordinary task.
KASLER: And Gamso says there seems to be a rush to put a new method in place in time for Ohios next scheduled execution on December 8th.
For NPR News, Im Karen Kasler in Columbus.
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