After Botched Execution, Another Death Row Inmate Wants Delay

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Cincinnati, OH—In the wake of a failed attempt at executing another death row prisoner in September, Lawrence Raymond Reynolds, Jr., has asked the Ohio Supreme Court and a federal appeals court to grant him a stay of execution.Reynolds’s lawyers point to the difficulties that technicians had in executing Romell Broom on September 15, 2009. The execution team tried to find a usable vein in Broom’s body, in order to administer a lethal injection, but were unable to do so before Governor Ted Strickland ordered the execution postponed. Broom received a further delay in his execution by a federal judge, who has scheduled a hearing on the matter for late November.

According to the motion filed by Reynolds’s attorneys with the Ohio Supreme Court, the attempts of the execution team to locate a vein in Broom were caused by inadequate training and lack of skills, and that they therefore constituted cruel and unusual punishment.

“If his death sentence is not enjoined or otherwise delayed, the same inadequately trained and unskilled individuals will attempt to execute Reynolds under the same flawed lethal injection protocol,” said the motion, which calls for the courts to uphold Reynolds’s constitutional right to a quick and painless execution.

Two similar cases have occurred in the past three years, leading to delays. The execution of Joseph Clark in 2006 was delayed for over an hour because of difficulties inserting the IV, and Christopher Newton’s execution, in 2007, was also delayed, while technicians attempted repeatedly to insert the IV.

Reynolds, 43, was shooting pool in a bowling alley when he confessed to the strangling and beating of a 67-year-old woman, on the night she was killed. He was later convicted on charges of murder and attempted rape, and sentenced to death by lethal injection.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has not responded to the Supreme Court motions, but has argued in the similar motion filed in federal court that the difficulties presented in Broom’s case did not preclude a successful execution in the case of Reynolds or other prisoners.

Similarly, a spokesperson for Governor Strickland’s office said that although the governor is reviewing Reynolds’s case, as he does in every capital case, he was unable to issue a general moratorium on executions in light of one failed attempt at lethal injection.

If the motion is not granted, Reynolds will face execution on October 8.

 

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