An Ohio death row inmate who videotaped testimony about his pre-execution checkup is raising controversy about the state’s new lethal injection process, which includes a two-drug combination that has never been used before, Newsday reported on Nov. 1.
The Ohio death row inmate, Ronald Phillips, 40, testified as part of a lawsuit seeking a delay in his execution as his attorneys gather evidence against the state’s new execution policy. The death row inmate testified via video that during his pre-execution examination on Oct. 18 at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution south of Columbus that a prison doctor couldn’t find his vein in which the lethal drugs would be injected.
“I guess the Lord hid my veins from them," Phillips said, referring to a comment he made that day after the checkup ended.
The Ohio death row inmate also claimed that the doctor said he wasn’t part of the state’s lethal injection process and that a prison nurse also participated in his exam.
Phillips is on death row and scheduled to be executed on Nov. 14 for raping and killing Sheila Marie Evans, the 3-year-old daughter of his girlfriend, in 1993 in Akron, Ohio.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction announced the new execution policy last month and said that it would use that new two-drug process in the execution of Phillips. The two drugs are midazolam, a sedative, and hydromorphone, a strong opiate.
The state is using the new drug combination because of a shortage of the usual drug pentobarbital, the Columbus Dispatch reported. The two-drug combination has been used in other states but not in Ohio.
Attorneys for the Ohio death row inmate said that this two-drug combination could cause serious side effects before Phillips dies. The state contends that the drugs will kill him quickly, causing him to stop breathing within a few minutes.