Prosecutor Seeks Execution Date for Romell Broom.

On March 13, 2017, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor filed a motion in the Supreme Court of Ohio to set an execution date for Romell Broom. This is just one of many such motions in Ohio. But with Broom this request is different, because the state tried to execute Broom on September 15, 2009, but after tying for about two hours, failed to place a catheter in his veins after multiple needle sticks.  The execution was finally called off by then Governor Strickland.  Broom argued unsuccessfully to the Supreme Court of Ohio that any further attempt to execute him was a violation of double jeopardy and of the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Read more about that 4-3 decision here. Broom also tried, but failed, to get his case into the United States Supreme Court, with Justices Breyer and Kagan voting to hear it.

Meanwhile, here is the status of executions in Ohio. Presently, executions have been set for every other month through early 2020. Several have been set to take place in 2017. The first, that of Ronald Phillips, convicted of the rape and murder of his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter in Akron in 1993, was to have taken place on February 15, 2017. But on January 26, 2017, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Merz in Dayton banned the three drug cocktail the state planned to use in upcoming executions, finding that the use of midazolam in particular would create an “ objectively intolerable” risk of harm, or a “substantial risk” of serious harm.

Merz’s decision, which you can read here, is now on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which heard argument in the case on February 21, 2017.  On February 10, Governor Kasich delayed eight more executions until appeals over this protocol are resolved.

No one has been executed in Ohio since January of 2014, when it took Dennis McGuire 25 minutes to die what appeared to observers be a very painful death, using a protocol which included the drug midazolam. Ohio, like many states, is finding the supply of “reliable” execution drugs drying up, since many drug companies now refuse to allow their drugs to be used for this purpose. In 2014, the Ohio legislature passed a bill that makes the source of execution drugs secret.

 

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