Ohio to Bend Execution Rules for Inmate With Cancer

Kenneth Smith will be executed with one arm free, in order to use his voice box
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 1, 2011 2:33 PM CDT
In this November 2005 file photo, the death chamber at the Southern Ohio Corrections Facility is seen through glass from the witness room, in Lucasville, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

(Newser) – Ohio will make it easier for an inmate who lost his larynx to cancer to make a final statement at his execution. The state will raise the gurney where Kenneth Smith will lie and let him keep one arm free to make it easier for him to use his artificial voice box, allowing him to speak audibly. It would be the first time an Ohio inmate has not been completely strapped down since the state resumed the death penalty in 1999. The 45-year-old is scheduled to die July 19 for killing Lewis and Ruth Ray in their Hamilton home in 1995.

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