CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, May 28, 2007

CrimProf Deborah Denno Criticizes Ohio's Lethal Injections

DdennoFrom With the two most troubled lethal injections in the country on its record, Ohio should scrupulously review or halt executions, a national expert and Fordham University School of Law CrimProf Deborah Denno said yesterday.

CrimProf Denno concluded that in light of delays in Thursday's execution of Christopher J. Newton, "problems with lethal injection in Ohio have been recurring and only becoming worse."

"The state's protocol revisions, paltry to begin with, are entirely ineffective," she told The Dispatch. "Even when the Department of (Rehabilitation and) Correction is doing what it thinks is its very best, and people know they're being watched, it's not working well."

Newton, 37, died by injection at 11:53 a.m. Thursday after a 90-minute delay in which prison paramedics struggled to attach intravenous lines to begin the flow of deadly chemicals.

Problems also delayed Joseph Clark's execution for an hour last May. Paramedics initially were able to insert a single IV line, but when the vein collapsed, Clark's execution was stopped until new lines were attached.

JoEllen Lyons, spokeswoman for the prison agency, said officials "do not believe that our process was flawed or this was a botched execution." She said the issues in the Newton and Clark executions were very different.

"We believe the process works because we removed the artificial time restraints from those team members which now allows them to take their time and do the job that they're there to do," Lyons said.

Gov. Ted Strickland, who said he saw no reason to change his death-penalty position as a result of Newton's execution, got another clemency case yesterday.

The Ohio Parole Board, in a 6-3 vote, recommended against sparing the life of Clarence Carter. The 45-year-old Cincinnati man is scheduled to be executed July 10 for the savage beating death of his cellmate at the Hamilton. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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