OHIO PLANS USE OF NEW DRUG COCKTAIL FOR EXECUTION OF RONALD PHILLIPS
October 28, 2013: Ohio will use a new injection method to put to death Ronald Phillips, the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said today. The state plans to use an intravenous combination of midazolam, a sedative, and hydromorphone, a morphine derivative, in the Nov. 14 execution of Ronald Phillips.
Those drugs already are included in Ohio's untested backup execution method, which requires them to be injected directly into an inmate's muscle. No state has put a prisoner to death with those drugs in any fashion. The agency made the decision because it couldn't obtain a supply of pentobarbital from a specialty pharmacy that mixes individual doses for patients, prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said.
The agency had considered using a compounding pharmacy after its supply of federally regulated pentobarbital expired last month. Phillips, 40, was sentenced to death for killing Sheila Marie Evans in 1993 after a long period of abusing her. Lawyers for Ronald Phillips say the state purposely waited until the Nov. 14 execution grew close to make it harder for Phillips to argue against the use of 2 drugs injected in combination.
Phillips' lawyers immediately asked a federal judge to delay the execution while they file legal challenges. (Sources: Associated Press, Cleveland.com, USA Today, 28/10/2013)