Ohio's Lethal Injection Protocol Ruled Unconstitutional
A federal magistrate has declared Ohio's new lethal injection protocal unconstitutional and has delayed three upcoming executions. Today's ruling by magistrate judge Michael Merz follows a week-long hearing over the three-drug method Ohio planned to use February 15 on death row inmate Ronald Phillips. Merz rejected the use of a sedative deployed in problematic executions in Arizona and Ohio. The judge also barred the state from using drugs that paralyze inmates and stop their hearts. Phillips' attorneys argued the method announced last year is worse than a similar procedure used years ago. The state says a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year paved the way for the protocol.