Death Penalty

“Haphazard” Execution Policies Result in Stay


The State of Ohio will not appeal a judge’s decision to stay the execution of Kenneth Smith, who was scheduled to be executed on July 19, 2011. In the decision, U.S. Court Judge Gregory Frost noted, “Ohio pays lip service to standards it then often ignores without valid reasons, sometimes with no physical ramifications and sometimes with what have been described as messy if not botched executions.”

As a result of the stay, Governor Kasich granted reprieve to two other people, but then resumed executions in November 2011.

However, in early 2012 Judge Frost once again stopped the executions of Charles Lorraine and Michael Webb because of the states execution protocols.

The state is appealing the decision, and also creating updated policies.

This is not the first time Ohio’s haphazard execution protocols have been challenged. In 2008, the ACLU of Ohio won a judgment in Lorain County Common Pleas Court in the case of State of Ohio v. Rivera. The Court ruled that the state’s lethal injection protocols violated state law that executions should be ‘quick and painless.’ Read the execution protocols from the case here.