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Judge Says Ohio Can Resume Executions
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U.S. District Judge Gregory Frost, who had previously stopped two executions, rejected a similar motion on Wednesday, for a temporary restraining order for Mark Wiles, scheduled for death on April 18, for murdering 15-year old Mark Klima during a burglary in 1985.

During his earlier postponements of execution orders, Frost had accused that the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction had engaged in a “policy of sporadic adherence to the execution protocol that allows, if not endorses, institutional incompetence.”

During those arguments Frost had cited the case of the failed execution of Romell Broom on September 15, 2009, when a doctor who was not a member of the execution team tried over two hours to locate a suitable vein for administering the intravenous drug meant to execute the convict.

  
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Broom was sent back to death row and has appealed his sentence, arguing that a second attempt to kill him amounts to unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.

Previous problems in failing to locate veins of inmates had resulted in the case of an inmate sitting up to tell his executioners that the process was not working, and in another case the process had dragged so long that the inmate had to be allowed a bathroom break.

Justifiably, Judge Frost held previously that the state was failing to follow its own protocols in the matter of executions.

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However, on Wednesday, Frost allowed the submissions of the prosecutors and held that the state had fixed its procedures adequately and executions may resume in Ohio.

State authorities in Ohio welcomed Frost’s ruling and stated that the state would ensure strict compliance with existing protocols and would change its command structure if necessary. Rehabilitation and Correction spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said, “This decision recognizes the hundreds of hours in training and preparation put in by the staff involved with this process.”



On the submissions and assurances received on behalf of the state, the judge wrote, “This Court is therefore willing to trust Ohio, just enough to permit the scheduled execution.”

Since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, Ohio has executed 46 people while there are 147 inmates currently waiting on death row. The inmates scheduled for execution also include one woman among them.

However, many Ohio officials are opposing the death penalty law, and recently Ohio Supreme Court Justice Paul Pfeifer, who had helped write the death penalty law of Ohio, 30 years ago, testified to lawmakers that he wished executions to be stopped.

On Thursday, the Connecticut Senate passed a bill to abolish the death penalty.



 

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