Federal Judge Bars Ohio Executions for 2014

On August 8 U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost ruled that no executions may be carried out in Ohio until at least January 2015. The court's ruling lengthened a previous moratorium imposed because of problems with the state's lethal injection protocol. Judge Frost said he extended the stay of executions “in light of the continuing need for discovery and necessary preparations related to the adoption and implementation of the new execution protocol." Three executions, which had been scheduled for the remainder of 2014, and one in early 2015, have been stayed. In January, the execution of Dennis McGuire in Ohio took over 25 minutes, with witnesses reporting that McGuire gasped, choked, and appeared to struggle against his restraints. The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction announced in April that it would use larger doses of the same lethal injection drugs in future executions, but Judge Frost stayed all executions until at least mid-August. The state's proposed dosage was the same as that used in the recent botched execution of Joseph Wood in Arizona.

(A. Johnson, "Moratorium on Ohio’s executions extended until January," Columbus Dispatch, August 11, 2014). See Lethal Injection and Botched Executions. See a list of other states where executions are on hold.