CLEVELAND- The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio today launched an investigation into the botched execution of Romell Broom by issuing a request for public records from the state. The request encompasses information regarding the state’s preparation for Mr. Broom’s first execution date, details about the actual events at the failed attempt, and what measures the state has enacted to prepare for Mr. Broom’s rescheduled execution date.
“Despite the evidence stacked against them, the state has continued to blindly insist that their lethal injection procedures work and that one week is ample time to prepare for Mr. Broom to be humanely executed,” said ACLU of Ohio Staff Counsel Carrie Davis.
“Given the high stakes, it is imperative that the public be informed about all aspects of the execution, who conducted the procedures and what alterations they have made to ensure no problems arise on September 22,” added Davis.
Among the evidence requested by the ACLU are copies of any logs made during the procedure; any audio or video recordings of the team’s attempts to put an IV in Mr. Broom; a list of personnel on the execution team and a listing of their credentials; a copy of procedures and protocols used by the team; any debriefing statements or evaluations made after the failed execution; and any procedural changes or instructions that will be implemented at the rescheduled date.
In the past, the state has been hesitant to provide information to the public about the execution process. Advocates have argued for years for greater access to information about preparations, events and personnel involved with the process. Officials only recently installed closed circuit cameras so news media could observe the procedure after a lawsuit was filed by the ACLU of Ohio.
Davis concluded, “It is time the state lift the fog of secrecy that has typically hidden the execution process from the public’s view. After three problem-filled executions, officials must provide complete and accurate information for public review before another person is put to death.”
Update 09.22.09 Romell Broom was granted a court-ordered stay of his execution. However, there are five more people with upcoming execution dates, using the same lethal injection method that so miserably failed with Romell Broom. Please keep calling and writing the Governor to urge an indefinite halt to executions.
Read our September 15, 2009 press release calling on Governor Strickland to stop all executions indefinitely.
Read the September 30, 2009 press release criticizing the state for refusing to review the failed execution.