Death Penalty

Ohio to Use New Drug Cocktail to Execute Killer

Untried in the United States


Ohio will use a dose of two drugs untried in the U.S. to put to death a condemned inmate who raped and killed a pregnant woman, according to a decision by the state prison system obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.

The determination means the prisons agency was unable to obtain an unregulated batch of pentobarbital, the drug Ohio used until its manufacturer put it off limits for executions.

Instead, the state will use drugs from its untested backup execution method in the Jan. 16 execution of Dennis McGuire, according to the decision contained in a memo by Southern Ohio Correctional Facility warden Donald Morgan released to the AP after a public records request.

The untested method: an intravenous combination of midazolam, a sedative, and hydromorphone, a painkiller. No state has put a prisoner to death with those drugs in any fashion.