Governor Postpones Execution of Inmate Found Unconscious in Death Row Cell

On March 8, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland postponed the execution of Lawrence Reynolds, who was found unconscious in his death row cell hours before he was to be driven to the execution facility. Reynolds, who was sentenced to die for a murder in 1994, apparently took an overdose of pills despite being under a 72-hour watch that includes frequent monitoring by prison guards. He was found unconscious in his cell around 11:30 pm, and was rushed to a hospital in Youngstown, Ohio. Ohio State Penitentiary spokeswoman Julie Walburn confirmed that Reynolds was alone in his death row cell. The state has rescheduled his execution for March 16. This is the second time the state has postponed Reynolds’ lethal injection. He was scheduled for execution in October 2009, but Gov. Strickland delayed executions so the state could review its lethal injection procedure following the failed attempt to execute Romell Broom. Since then, Ohio became the first state to adopt a one-drug lethal injection protocol, a method that Reynolds has challenged.

(“Governor delays execution of inmate found unconscious,” Associated Press, March 8, 2010). See also Lethal Injection and Time on Death Row.