COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The state plans an immediate appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court of a decision delaying an execution three weeks after problems with a separate lethal injection attempt.
Ohio Attorney General spokeswoman Holly Hollingsworth says the state will file an appeal Monday opposing any delay in Thursday's planned execution of Lawrence Reynolds Jr.
A panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled 2-1 Monday to halt the execution of Reynolds, sentenced to die for strangling his 67-year-old neighbor in Cuyahoga Falls in 1994.
The judges based their decision on problems accessing the veins of condemned killer Romell Broom that led Gov. Ted Strickland to stop that execution Sept. 15.
The state argues that problems accessing Broom's veins doesn't mean that other inmates can't be executed properly.
Court Halts Ohio Execution, Cites Injection Flaws
CINCINNATI (AP) -- A federal appeals court on Monday halted the execution of an inmate three weeks after problems with a lethal injection attempt.
A panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled 2-1 to grant the request of 43-year-old Lawrence Reynolds Jr., who had been sentenced to die for strangling his 67-year-old neighbor during a 1994 robbery.
On Sept. 15, Gov. Ted Strickland stopped the lethal injection of Romell Broom after state executioners struggled for two hours to find a usable vein.
Broom's execution is on hold while his attorneys prepare for a Nov. 30 federal court hearing. They argue that an unprecedented second execution attempt on Broom violates a constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
Judge Boyce Martin said Broom's case raises questions about Ohio's lethal injection procedures, including the competence of the state's execution team.
"Given the important constitutional and humanitarian issues at stake in all death penalty cases, these problems in the Ohio lethal injection protocol are certainly worthy of meaningful consideration," Martin wrote.
He said U.S. District Judge Gregory Frost should consider the cases of Broom and Reynolds together in November.
Judge Jeffrey Sutton dissented, arguing that the state's policy addresses a scenario where repeated attempts to find a vein are unusable.
"Why assume an execution protocol is unconstitutional when one of the humane features of the protocol -- that the State will not continue trying to access a usable vein beyond a sensible time limit -- is being followed?" Sutton wrote.
Gov. Ted Strickland's decision to stop Broom's execution appears to be unprecedented since capital punishment was declared constitutional and the nation resumed executions in the 1970s. Inmates in several states have experienced delays with the injection of lethal chemicals, but those executions always proceeded the same day.