A federal appeals court today halted the execution of an Ohio inmate three weeks after problems with a lethal injection foiled another man's execution. The 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 to grant a stay to 43-year-old Lawrence Reynolds Jr., who had been sentenced to die for strangling his 67-year-old neighbor during a 1994 robbery. On Sept. 15, Gov. Ted Strickland stopped the lethal injection of Romell Broom after state executioners struggled for two hours to find a usable vein.
Broom's execution is on hold while his attorneys prepare for a Nov. 30 federal court hearing. Judge Boyce Martin said Broom's case raises questions about Ohio's lethal injection procedures, including the competence of the state's execution team. "Given the important constitutional and humanitarian issues at stake in all death penalty cases, these problems in the Ohio lethal injection protocol are certainly worthy of meaningful consideration," Martin wrote in his opinion on Reynold's case.