Appeals court ruling opens door to Ohio resuming executions

FILE – In this November 2005 file photo, Larry Greene, public information director of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, demonstrates how a curtain is pulled between the death chamber and witness room at the prison in Lucasville, Ohio. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

CINCINNATI (AP) – Ohio is a step closer to resuming executions after a federal court narrowly voted in the state’s favor in a case over its lethal injection process.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati on Wednesday reversed a judge’s order that delayed three executions after he declared Ohio’s lethal injection process unconstitutional. The three-drug method includes a sedative involved in problematic executions in Arizona, Arkansas and Ohio.

Attorneys for death row inmates argued that the sedative, midazolam, poses a substantial risk of harm by not rendering inmates deeply unconscious. They plan to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the case.

State attorneys say they’ve provided plenty of evidence of midazolam’s effectiveness. The state also argues the Supreme Court upheld the drug’s use in a case from Oklahoma.

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