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Botched Ohio Execution Spurs Actions for Mandatory Training of Prison Officials

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					Legal Daily News Feature


Botched Ohio Execution Spurs Actions for Mandatory Training of Prison
Officials
By Christine Cristiano


In court filings, attorneys for several inmates on death row argued that if prison officials were properly trained, the botched execution of
Romell Broom in Ohio on September 15, 2009 could have been prevented.




                              01/15/10                                  Due to pending litigation, state prison officials have not
                                                                        commented on the Broom’s botched execution but said that
                            Broom, 53, was sentenced to                 ‘’the state’s new protocols are effective and not painful.’’
                            death row after being convicted of
                            kidnapping, raping and killing 14           Attorneys presenting other death row inmates have said that
year-old Tryna Middleton in 1984.                                       they are hopeful that all executions in Ohio will be stopped
                                                                        until the ‘’state’s execution protocols were brought up to
According to court documents, the filings contend that                  constitutional standards and there were better guarantees that
‘’Ohio prison officials have shown a consistent disregard for           these protocols would be followed.’’
their own rules in carrying out executions; including failing
to ensure that execution staff members attend required                  In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the
rehearsals and training.’’ The filings reveal that one of the           three-drug cocktail Kentucky used in executions, thus
individuals who was responsible for helping with the execution          rejecting claims that it posed an ‘’unconstitutional risk of
of Mr. Broom, failed to attend the execution rehearsals and             a condemned inmate’s suffering acute yet undetectable
was not adequately trained.                                             pain.’’


According to court documents filed in Federal District Court in         However, according to Ohio death row lawyer, Allen L. Bohnert,
Columbus, the employee in question ‘’is a licensed emergency            the ‘’decision by the Supreme Court that the three-drug
medical technician, does not regularly establish IVs and was out        cocktail was constitutional was based on the faulty assumption
of practice at the time of Mr. Broom’s attempted execution.’’           that states followed protocol, when in Ohio, that was proving
                                                                        not to be true.’’
During his scheduled execution, Broom was repeatedly stuck
with a needle for nearly two hours by prison officials in an            Mr. Bohnert noted that in another failed execution attempt
attempt to locate a usable vein to inject the prescribed lethal         of Daniel Wilson in June, ‘’state prison officials ignored the
serum that would facilitate his death. After the failed attempt,        requirement that they conduct three reviews of the inmate’s
Gov. Ted Strickland ordered that the execution be halted.               veins shortly before the execution to ensure that they had
                                                                        accessible veins.’’ According to filings, last summer, prison
Adele Shank, one of lawyers for Mr. Broom, commented that               officials also failed to establish two functional IV sites before
if “prison staff [were] appropriately trained, and if prison            starting the execution as required during the execution of
officials followed protocol, they might have avoided the sort           Marvallous Keene.
of cruel and unconstitutional treatment that Mr. Broom faced.’’
Shank added that she will try to ‘’prevent the state from going         Also in the filings, during Broom’s scheduled execution, state
forward with her client’s execution.’’                                  officials summoned a doctor to help locate a usable vein
                                                                        even though the doctor didn’t receive the required training to
According to Shank, ‘’the state got their chance with Mr.               participate in Broom’s execution.
Broom. They failed to execute him, and, in the process, they
violated his constitutional right to avoid cruel and unusual            This past November, Ohio became the first state to declare
punishment. So we are arguing it would be further cruelty for           that it would switch its death penalty procedure from a three-
them to try again.’’                                                    drug cocktail to a single drug for the purpose of execution.




PAGE                                                        www.lawcrossing.com                                               continued on back
Legal Daily News Feature

According to critics, a single drug injection is ‘’more humane’’         which initially renders the inmate unconscious, followed by
for lethal injection than the traditional three drug cocktail            paralysis and then finally stopping the heart.




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Description: According to court documents, the filings contend that ''Ohio prison officials have shown a consistent disregard for their own rules in carrying out executions; including failing to ensure that execution staff members attend required rehearsals and training.
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