Ohio’s Use of Lethal Injection is Unconstitutional, Says ACLU
For immediate release
CLEVELAND- The ACLU of Ohio is challenging Ohio’s administration of lethal injection as illegal and unconstitutional in the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas. An evidentiary hearing in the cases is scheduled for Monday, April 7, 2008 and Tuesday, April 8, 2008.
The cases are State v. Rivera and State v. McCloud. The ACLU of Ohio represents the defendants in their argument that Ohio's method of carrying out lethal injections is both illegal and unconstitutional because it is likely to result in inmates being, in effect, tortured to death.
Lethal injection procedures do not always run smoothly. Ohio has a demonstrated record of incompetence in the administration of lethal injection. It is likely that many Ohio death row inmates suffer excruciating, torturous pain during executions. That likely pain violates the federal and state constitutions, which forbid cruel and unusual punishment and violate Ohio’s statutory requirement that death be administered “quickly and painlessly.”
Lethal injection is Ohio’s only method of execution, and if it cannot be performed lawfully, then the judge cannot impose the death penalty. These are the first cases in the nation to address these questions before trial and to have the possibility of precluding the death penalty completely.
This is also the first time an Ohio court will consider expert testimony on how executions are performed in Ohio.
What: Hearing in Lorain County Court of Common Pleas regarding
Ohio’s controversial use of lethal injection in executions.
Who: Jeffrey M. Gamso, Legal Director of the ACLU of Ohio, will present
testimony before Judge James Burge.
When: Monday, April 7, 2008, 9:00 AM EST and continuing Tuesday,
April 8, 2008
Where: Lorain County Justice Center
225 Court Street, 7th Floor
Elyria, OH 44036-0749
Get more information on our Death Penalty page
Read Execution Protocols and Procedures for selecting members of the execution team and carrying out executions in Ohio.