Appeals Court Rules Ohio's Execution Drug Method Is Constitutional After All
A federal appeals court says an execution set for next May can go forward, because the condemned killer didn’t prove his claim that the state’s three-drug execution method is unconstitutional.
Attorneys for Warren Keith Henness had argued that the mixture creates the sensation of drowning. But the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said they didn’t prove that. The appellate court's ruling reverses a decision earlier this year by a federal magistrate, who had said the lethal injection method was akin to the torture method known as "waterboarding" and constituted cruel and unusual punishment.
Despite the ruling, an unofficial moratorium on executions is likely to continue in Ohio.
Gov. Mike DeWine said because of the state's problems getting the drugs needed to conduct executions, he can’t see a method that works under state law. Henness is set to die in May, but the next inmate on the schedule is Cleveland Jackson of Allen County, on Nov. 13.