State ex­e­cu­tions could be back on track

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - LOCAL NEWS - By An­drew Welsh-Hug­gins

COLUM­BUS » Court rul­ings fa­vor­able to the state and the out­come of two ex­e­cu­tions in three months in­di­cate Ohio could be on track to re­sume putting in­mates to death reg­u­larly.

The state ex­e­cuted child killer Ron­ald Phillips in July and dou­ble killer Gary Otte on Wed­nes­day in the state death cham­ber at the South­ern Ohio Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity in Lu­casville.

Wit­nesses said Phillips did not ap­pear to be dis­tressed. Otte’s chest rose and fell sev­eral times over two min­utes in a fash­ion sim­i­lar to some ex­e­cu­tions, though the move­ment ap­peared to go on longer than in the past.

Otte’s lawyers be­lieve he suf­fered a phe­nom­e­non known as air hunger and plan to con­tinue their chal­lenge of Ohio’s use of a seda­tive called mi­da­zo­lam.

“My con­cerns were that he was ob­struct­ing, he was suf­fer­ing air hunger, try­ing des­per­ately to get air, and there were tears run­ning down his face, which in­di­cated to me that he was feel­ing pain or sen­sa­tions,” fed­eral public de­fender Carol Wright said af­ter Wed­nes­day’s ex­e­cu­tion.

Pris­ons spokes­woman JoEllen Smith said the pro- ce­dure “was car­ried out in com­pli­ance with the ex­e­cu­tion pol­icy and without com­pli­ca­tion.”

The next and last ex­e­cu­tion sched­uled this year is Nov. 15, when the state plans to put Alva Camp­bell to death. A jury found Camp­bell, 69, guilty of killing 18-year- old Charles Dials 20 years ago af­ter Camp­bell, who was in a wheel­chair while feign­ing paral­y­sis, es­caped from a court hear­ing.

Ohio is sched­uled to ex­e­cute four peo­ple next year and six in 2019. Nine men were ex­e­cuted in 2010, the most since Ohio re­sumed putting in­mates to death in 1999.

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