COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Latest on Ohio’s supply of lethal injection drugs and its new execution process (all times local):
Ohio says it has enough lethal injection drugs on hand for a fourth execution this year, but it is staying tight-lipped about additional supplies.
Lawyers for the state prisons system said Friday that in addition to three executions scheduled through April, Ohio has enough drugs for a fourth execution in May.
Records obtained by The Associated Press indicate the state has enough supplies for dozens of executions using a new three-drug method.
State lawyers said those records don’t account for the expiration dates of drugs, which the state previously wouldn’t disclose.
A request was made Friday for those expiration dates.
A federal judge is weighing the constitutionality of Ohio’s new lethal injection system. The state plans to execute condemned child killer Ronald Phillips next month.
Ohio’s prisons agency is trying to obtain a drug that could reverse the lethal injection process if needed.
Gary Mohr, director of the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, says a request to use the drug would come if executioners weren’t confident the first of three lethal drugs would render a prisoner unconscious.
Mohr said in federal court testimony on Jan. 6 that he would inform Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) and ask for a reprieve at that point.
Prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith declined Thursday to comment on Mohr’s testimony, a copy of which was reviewed by The Associated Press.
The drug, flumazenil (fluh-MA’-zeh-nil), is used to reverse the effects of a sedative called midazolam (mih-DAY’-zoh-lam), when that drug causes reactions in patients.
Midazolam is the first drug in Ohio’s new execution method.