Ohio Clears Specialty Drug-makers In Executions

The state could begin executing death row inmates with a combination of lethal drugs if pentobarbitol remains in short supply.(Photo: Flickr)
The state could begin executing death row inmates with a combination of lethal drugs if pentobarbitol remains in short supply.(Photo: Flickr)

Ohio could begin executing inmates with doses of a lethal injection drug prepared by specialized pharmacies under a change in its execution process prompted by difficulties securing the powerful sedative last used by the state.

The state prisons department filed a new execution policy in federal court Friday. It allows compounding pharmacies to provide future supplies of pentobarbital.

The state’s last supply expired with the Sept. 25 execution of Harry Mitts, who fatally shot two people, including a suburban Cleveland police officer.

The new policy also establishes an alternative intravenous drug combination if expired pentobarbital is deemed unusable or if new supplies of the drug are unavailable.

A federal public defender says he’s reviewing the changes for any impact on federal litigation and future executions.

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