Ohio is Trying to Obtain a Drug That Would Reverse the Effects of a Lethal Injection


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Ohio's dubious track record with state executions is well known, and now, a month out from its first lethal injection in three years, the state seems to be preparing for the worst. In federal court testimony this month, the director of the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction revealed an interest in obtaining a drug that could reverse a lethal injection, if needed.

A new Associated Press report gets into the details of what Ohio is trying to accomplish.

In the event that executioners aren't confident that midazolam, the first drug of a three-drug "cocktail," is going to fully render an inmate unconscious, then officials would intervene and reverse the effects of that drug — ending the lethal injection process.

Gary Mohr, DRC director, said that he would get in contact with Gov. John Kasich to officially halt and reverse the process if that were to happen. "Governor, I am not confident that we, in fact, can achieve a successful execution. I want to reverse the effects of this," Mohr said in court, explaining how he would describe the potential situation.

It appears via the AP report that Ohio is trying to obtain Flumazenil, which would reverse the lethal injection process, but has not yet been successful.

From the AP story:

Columbus surgeon Jonathan Groner, a lethal injection expert, said past problems with Ohio executions have come about because executioners didn't properly connect the IVs.

"A reversal drug will not help with that problem, and could make it worse — if the IV is not in the vein, giving more drugs may cause more pain," Groner said.

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