ACLU Calls for Halt to Ohio Executions
CLEVELAND- The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio renewed its call on Governor Strickland to put an immediate halt on all executions in light of fundamental flaws in the execution process. On October 5, Strickland granted a short 5 month reprieve to two inmates who were to be executed in October and November. Recently, state officials said they are considering scrapping the current procedures in favor of methods such as delivering the medications through muscle tissue or bone marrow. No other states have adopted these methods and they have never been used for execution procedures.
“These wild ideas are the product of last minute desperation to fix an irreparably flawed system. Ohio has repeatedly shown it cannot competently perform the current procedures, but is now considering procedures that would require more expertise and precision. It truly defies all logic and reason,” said ACLU of Ohio Staff Counsel Carrie Davis. “We can no longer deny that our execution system is broken. While the governor’s reprieves may have given the state a few more weeks, we are still scheduled to execute 5 people in the next 6 months. It has been over three years since our first botched lethal injection and we are still encountering the same problems. A few weeks or months of haphazard review is simply insufficient,” added Davis.
The ACLU also issued a second records request to the state asking for documents including any discussion of changes to execution procedures. In the days following Romell Broom’s September 15th failed execution, the ACLU made similar requests, but the state denied such records existed. In his announcement of the reprieves, Governor Strickland said the state had been working on changes to execution procedures since Broom’s failed execution. Davis concluded, “The state continues to hide the death penalty system from a full and fair public discussion, while their actions become more dangerous and desperate. The stakes are simply too high for executions to continue without a comprehensive and transparent review.”