Judge orders temporary halt to executions in Ohio

By Kyle Johnson,

A federal judge ordered on Tuesday that executions in Ohio be temporarily suspended for the next couple of months while legal arguments are heard.

The state decided to alter its lethal injection procedures after an inmate, Dennis McGuire, reportedly took 26 minutes to die in January, according to The Associated Press. Ohio announced that that doses of the sedative and painkiller used will be increased.

The changes, which prompted the legal filings by several attorneys, was an attempt "to allay any remaining concerns," from McGuire's execution.

The ruling, made by U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost, will delay the executions of Ronald Phillips and William Montgomery, who were scheduled to die July 2 and Aug. 6, respectively, reports the Columbus Dispatch.

Though McGuire took 26 minutes to die, the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction claim that he was asleep the whole time and didn't suffer. The state claimed, "He did not experience pain, distress or air hunger after the drugs were administered and his execution was conducted in a constitutional manner."

Witnesses claimed, however, that the 53-year-old appeared to struggle for about 10 minutes after receiving the injections, while also gasping and choking.

 
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