Out of Execution Drug, Ohio Will Try Untested Combo

Lawyers appeal for Death Row inmate set to die in 2 weeks

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 29, 2013 3:42 AM CDT

(Newser) – Another state is looking for alternatives after running out of the execution drug pentobarbital. Ohio says it doesn't have enough of the drug to execute child killer Ronald Phillips next month so it plans to use the untested combination of the sedative midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone for the lethal injection, reports the Christian Science Monitor. Pentobarbital's Danish manufacturer banned its sale to prisons in 2011.

Other pentobarbital-using states, including Texas, the nation's most prolific executioner, have turned to "compounding pharmacies" that custom-make drugs for their supply. Ohio introduced new execution guidelines earlier this month that allowed it to obtain drugs from such pharmacies, but it was unable to find a suitable supplier. Lawyers for Phillips—who was sentenced to die for the 1993 rape and murder of his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter—are suing to delay his November 14 execution, the AP reports. If they fail, the 40-year-old will become the first person in any state to be executed with the two-drug combination.

Ronald Phillips is scheduled to die Nov. 14 for the 1993 rape and murder of his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter.
Ronald Phillips is scheduled to die Nov. 14 for the 1993 rape and murder of his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter.   (Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction)
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