Ohio Judge Orders Switch to Barbiturates for Executions

Judge James Burge in Ohio has ruled that Ohio must change its three drug execution cocktail to a single dose of barbiturates if it wants to continue executions.

He based the ruling on Ohio law that mandates the use of “a drug or combination of drugs of sufficient dosage to quickly and painlessly cause death.”

The Supreme Court in Baze v. Rees refused to find the three drug cocktail, which veternarians won't use in dogs, unconstitutional. [More...]

The Baze decision did not foreclose all challenges to lethal injections under the Eighth Amendment, which bars cruel and unusual punishment. But it said challengers must show a demonstrated risk of severe pain along with a feasible alternative that would significantly reduce that risk.

....Baze, Judge Burge wrote, said the Constitution did not require the avoidance of all risk of pain. The Ohio law, by contrast, he said, “demands the avoidance of any unnecessary risk of pain and, as well, any unnecessary expectation by the condemned person that his execution may be agonizing or excruciatingly painful.”

Texas sees it differently and has refused post-Baze requests on similar grounds. Karl Chamberlain is scheduled for texecution tonight.

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    I am totally opposed to the death penalty (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by rise hillary rise on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 11:01:43 AM EST
    in any and all circumstances. However, I must say, that when my time comes, I would want the vet to come out to the house and give me the pentobarbitol shot, like she did for my cats when their time came to go.

    I'm with you... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 08:34:12 PM EST
    my family is well aware I expect the same courtesy we gave our family pets if and when the time comes.

    But I'd like a monster dose of morphine...and if we insist on executing people, why not give them a euphoric exit?


    Is this really 2008? (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Dadler on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 11:54:00 AM EST
    And America still can figure out whether executing people is wrong?  Or that using drugs they won't use on dogs is wrong?

    Oh, that's right, we're murdering people every day in a nation far away that did nothing to us.

    Makes sense now.

    it's a sad commentary (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by cpinva on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 12:17:05 PM EST
    on 21st century america, when a real judge, in a real case, not a play, is spending time trying to determine the least painful method for the state to use to kill someone.

    geez, just lock the guy up on the dry tortugas for the rest of his life, it would be cheaper.

    when he was in law school (none / 0) (#1)
    by Turkana on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 10:28:15 AM EST
    i wonder if burge ever dreamed he'd some day be deciding which drugs should be used to kill people.

    on offense (none / 0) (#3)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 11:11:44 AM EST
    but I really hate that picture

    That's a decision I'd never want (none / 0) (#4)
    by blogtopus on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 11:20:50 AM EST
    to have to make. I'm glad, though, that he's at least trying to point us in the right direction.

    I'm not a big fan of the DP either; hopefully cooler heads will eventually prevail.

    Well, I gues that's better (none / 0) (#8)
    by splashy on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 08:41:31 PM EST
    Given a choice, I would opt for that myself.

    What is with our country? We really don't have things together when it comes to human rights, that's for sure.