Death row inmate petitions Kasich for clemency

The state plans to execute Ronald Phillips on Feb. 15 for the rape and death of his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter in Akron in 1993. (AP Photo)
The state plans to execute Ronald Phillips on Feb. 15 for the rape and death of his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter in Akron in 1993. (AP Photo)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Death row inmate Ronald Phillips is asking for clemency from Ohio Governor John Kasich.

He was sentenced to death out of Summit County for the 1993 rape and murder of a 3-year-old girl, Sheila Maria Evans.

But a botched lethal injection in January 2014 for Dennis McGuire led to all scheduled lethal injections to be put on hold until at least January of 2017.

OSU Law Professor Doug Berman said the state now has some of the drugs needed to perform lethal injections.

“My understanding is they may have acquired the Midlazadam not from a compounding pharmacy from some other source and that itself has been an ongoing uncertainty,” said Berman, a legal expert on lethal injection.

The state wants to use lookalike drugs from compound pharmacies in place of former drugs; the lookalike drugs remain unidentified because Ohio lawmakers included them in a secrecy law.

“Everybody agrees we don’t want to make the condemned murderer tortured on the process to death, no dispute we want it to be as humane an execution as possible,” said Professor Berman.

That is why Phillips wants his lethal injection put on hold, because Ohio could be using an untested cocktail of drugs.

The state parole board will give their report on Phillips to Gov. Kasich on December 9th.

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