OHIO (USA): RONALD PHILLIPS EXECUTED
July 26, 2017:
Ronald Phillips, 43, White, was executed. The time of Phillips' death was 10:43 a.m. at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Lucasville.
There were no complications. He was sentenced to die in 1993 for the January 1993 rape and killing of Sheila Marie Evans, his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter. At that time Phillips was 19. The girlfriend, Fae Amanda Evans, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and child endangering for her involvement and sentenced to 13- to 30-years. She died of leukemia on July 8, 2008, at the state prison hospital in Columbus. The state Parole Board granted her clemency because of her cancer while the Summit County prosecutor opposed this decision. She died before a decision could be made. While there was no doubt about Phillips' guilt - he confessed to the crime after lying at first - his legal appeals have extended for years. Most recently, the court fight focused on Ohio's changing lethal injection protocol, with Philips' attorneys arguing that the combination of drugs to be used was flawed and could be compared to "burning at the stake." The 3 drugs, used in combination for the 1st time in Ohio, were 500 milligrams of midazolam hydrochloride, a strong sedative; 1,000 milligrams of rocuronium bromide, a muscle relaxer, and 240 milligrams of potassium chloride, used to stop the heart. A total of 6 syringes were used, 2 for each drug. Phillips received 6 stays of execution. The case puts Ohio in the national spotlight because the state had not held an execution since Jan. 16, 2014, when Dennis McGuire struggled, coughed and gasped through a 26-minute death marathon. That triggered a series of legal appeals and a struggle to find suitable execution drugs. Last week, a coalition of clergy members, former corrections professionals, exonerated inmates and representatives of Ohioans to Stop Executions held a Statehouse press conference urging Kasich, who is a Christian, to "follow his faith" by sparing Phillips' life. Also joining the opposition were former Attorneys General Jim Petro and Lee Fisher. The Ohio Parole Board, which is required by law to make a recommendation to the governor in capital-punishment cases, voted 10-2 against clemency for Phillips in December.
On Monday, 15 pharmacology professors argued in Phillips’ favor that midazolam is incapable of inducing unconsciousness or preventing the unconstitutional infliction of serious pain.
Phillips becomes the 1st inmate to be put to death this year in Ohio and the 54th overall since the state resumed capital punishment in 1999. Phillips becomes the 15th inmate to be put to death this year in the USA and the 1457th overall since the nation resumed executions on January 17, 1977.
(Sources: The Columbus Dispatch & Rick Halperin, 26/07/2017)