- Laura A. Bischoff Columbus bureau
Ohio Gov. John Kasich has again pushed back the execution dates for several inmates on Death Row while a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s lethal injection procedures gets a full review from the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Now, the earliest Ohio will execute an inmate will be July 26 — the new date set by Kasich for Ronald Phillips, who was sentenced to die for the 1993 rape and murder of his girlfriend’s three-year-old daughter. Phillips’ execution had been slated for May 10.
A total of nine executions have been delayed.
The state is appealing a ruling from the U.S. District Court that found Ohio’s current execution protocol unconstitutional.
Related: Kasich delays eight executions
Ohio last carried out the death penalty in January 2014 when it took 26-minutes to execute inmate Dennis McGuire using a previously untested combination of lethal drugs.
Attorneys for death row inmates challenging Ohio’s use of midazolam say it doesn’t render inmates fully unconscious, leading to an unconstitutionally high risk of harm.
The state argues that the massive dose planned in Ohio of 500 milligrams — 10 times what it used on McGuire — is more than enough to ensure inmates don’t feel pain. The state also says the U.S. Supreme Court permitted the drug’s use in a 2015 ruling out of Oklahoma.
Information from the Associated Press is included in this report.