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Problems with Lethal Injection Results in Delayed Execution

Ohio Governor calls off execution after more than two hours of failed attempts

For the first time in the modern era of the death penalty, an execution by lethal injection was called off and Romell Broom was returned to death row in Ohio. Ohio’s Governor Ted Strickland stepped in and postponed the execution after the execution team struggled for more than two hours to find a usable vein to administer the lethal drugs. View the timeline for the failed execution here.

The questions that this case has raised will likely have an impact far beyond Broom’s case and the state of Ohio. According to a recent Newsweek article entitled Dying in Vein:

During the attempted execution, Broom was pricked more than 18 times to find usable veins on both arms and one leg. Some of those injections hit bone or muscle. “The pain, suffering and distress to which Broom was subjected on Sept. 15, 2009, went well beyond that which is tolerated by the United States and Ohio Constitution,” Tim Sweeney (Broom’s defense attorney) stated in court documents filed with the Ohio Supreme Court. “It was a form of torture that exposed Broom to the prospect of a slow, lingering death, not the quick and painless one he was promised and to which he is constitutionally entitled if he is going to be executed by the State.”

Broom’s execution remains on hold pending a November 30th hearing regarding the failed execution attempt. More information and media coverage of the case can be found here.

Despite the mounting questions about lethal injection, officials in Nebraska have released their proposal for moving the state towards a new method of execution. This proposal does nothing to address the underlying problems with the death penalty, nor does it address any of the grave concerns being raised by the recent situation in Ohio. Instead it sets Nebraska on a path towards years of costly appeals and extended pain and trauma for the families of those who have lost their loved ones. You can read more about the protocol release here. Nebraskans Against the Death Penalty will be asking you to speak out about this new proposal; stay tuned for more information about these regulations as it becomes available.


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